It's good to hear some feedback, even if it's "I'm not interested in playing this hack" at this stage. I'll admit that what I have to show so far might not interest most people, but hopefully I'll be able to show off some cooler things in the future!
Regarding Sound Restoration: If Bregalad ever makes a (U) version of the patch, I can definitely accommodate this as an add-on to his work, but it boils down to his progress :p
Regarding the Custom Classes mod: That hack accomplishes something different from what I have in mind, and a few of what it does doesn't fit into my goals for this hack. The biggest changes it makes are changing all the skill trees (for example, Ranger doesn't get X-Fight/Rapidfire in that hack) as well as changing when you get each job. One of the goals of my hack is to make it a supplement to the Four Job Fiesta, so skill trees need to at least give out the same abilities, and the player needs to get each job at the same point in the hack.
Why play my hack when you can play the Custom Classes mod? Besides the fact that I'm planning to add new jobs (one planned so far), one of the great things about Final Fantasy V, and possibly underappreciated, is that the job system is very deep. There are a lot of fun abilities to mess around with; for example, the Beastmaster's Catch ability lets them capture a monster, which then uses a one time attack when it's released. Some facts about Catch:
- Goblins cast Flare when released.
- Sand Bears, found in World 1, deal a 2000 damage physical attack when released, the most powerful option available at that point in the game.
- Crystelles cast Mighty Guard.
- Crystelles only have 3 HP, making catching them very difficult. (Catch requires the monster has either 1/8 HP or 1/2 HP depending on equipment.)
Stuff like this is what makes a Beastmaster run of the game possible (and fun!), adding an impressive layer of replayability to the game. Unfortunately, a game where you master all the jobs skims over this depth. Not many players play around with the Beastmaster's Catch ability, or the Geomancer's Gaia ability, because those pale in comparison to the overpowered stuff like Rapidfire-Spellblade, or Dualcast magic, or Zeninage. Players don't use Harps because Harps are useless in the vanilla game (due to their coding, Harps don't even deal damage to most bosses.) My goal is to take these things and bring them up to the point where they're interesting to play with; The Dream Harp now gives Bards a party heal option now, for example.
Regarding difficulty: I'm not going to make the game easier in general. The difficulty curve in my opinion is really well designed, to the point that even challenge runs are possible. However, some specific situations are unnecessarily difficult due to oversights in the design and rely less on skill to overcome and more on tedium/grinding. The best example as I've mentioned before is the Byblos boss fight.
Taking on Byblos without access to fire attacks is difficult for several reasons:
- Byblos has a chance of countering any physical attack with Protect, which causes all future physical attacks to deal half damage, and there is no way to remove this from him at this point in the game.
- Byblos has a chance of inflicting Sonic Wave throughout the battle, which halves their level; one of the consequences of this is reduced damage. This effect can be stacked repeatedly to the point that a character has the damage output of a level 1 character. It's also impossible to negate this effect, so once it sticks it's permanent.
- When Byblos reaches under 800 HP, he has a chance of casting Drain as a counter to any attack, which drains ~300 HP from the target. So it's possible to get stuck in a prolonged battle if you can't outrace his damage at this point.
Now, a physical has two options to beat Byblos with these in mind. The first one is to be lucky, and hope that he doesn't cast Protect early on, as well as dodging his Sonic Waves and outrace his damage. This strategy isn't really interesting because of how much it depends on the RNG. The second strategy is to wait until Byblos runs out of MP so that he can't cast spells anymore. The problem with this strategy is that Byblos has a whopping 1000
MP, an unusually large amount for this stage of the game, and his most expensive spell is Drain, which only costs 13 MP. So outlasting his MP reserves essentially boils down to stocking a lot of healing.
The fix I have in mind to solve this problem is simple: Drop his starting MP to 200 from 1000. This doesn't change any of the strategies that parties have to use to take him on, but it makes one specific strategy, which some parties must
rely on less tedious to execute. This is the kind of stuff I have planned for difficulty changes.