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Which control scheme would you prefer for the weak/strong attacks

B for Weak, forward + B for strong
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B for Weak, A for strong (running only available in towns)
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Forward B for weak, B for strong
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B for weak, Y for strong (X used for own menu and X again to change to other characters menu)
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other (please post your suggestion)
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Author Topic: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack  (Read 196103 times)

theonyxphoenix

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #240 on: January 06, 2016, 10:38:57 am »
I suppose that the issue with Purim's Cure magic, at its root, is that we don't want to have an overdependence on it.  Right now, it is so powerful and catch-all that there is no reason not to use it.  To deter from this, I suppose it can be fixed in a few ways.

1. Reduce it's power.  A full heal for 2MP for all party members when appropriately leveled and can be used repeatedly is, by most game standards, overpowered.
- How to make up for it: Increase the defensive capabilities of the other spells like Defender to provide much better coverage. Possibly an increase to Def/Magic Defense.  You wouldn't want immunity because that is where the wall spells kick in.  This would also make casing Defender-> Wall more appealing because once you have Wall up then Cure Water cannot be used.

2. Increase it's cost.  If you make it less attractive to spam then you would find other ways to compensate.  Of course this wouldn't directly improve on the other defensive spells.  Without some other way to defer damage it would make the game much more difficult. 

3. Make the other spells that much better...which may throw other things out of balance.  For the sabers...is there a way to increase damage with spell level but have it last longer from the start. Casting Ice Saber for 1 attack is a bit of a waste, especially early on.  Purim's question should be...why should I waste MP and casting time on this instead of just casting another cure? 


As for giving Randi Sabers...I'm actually like the idea.  Giving him access to sabers would kind of fit the theme of him being the mana sword wielder...even allow him to cast them for reduced mana cost...but it would take away from Purim and make her more of a cure-machine.   But seeing as how that is extensively difficult to code I don't think that it is worth exploring in too much detail.


Popoi's spells should be a bit more varied.  I think that elementals should have a low-damage/low-cost spell for randoms and a big-damage/big-cost spell for Bosses.  Typically with bosses you want to do as much damage to them as possible in the shortest amount of castings before they kill you/you run out of cure items.  With the delay in casting, having a more powerful expensive spell would be more attractive and help differentiate between the spells.   I think it would also help to tweak the enemies' immunities.  If you have a boss that is only weak to a certain elemental and strong/immune to others it would make analyzer a bit more necessary and require you to focus on all of the elementals equally.  Some of Undine's spells are just as powerful, if not moreso than later elementals like Shade.  (Evil gate just needs to be a more powerful direct damage and not use the strange damage formula it uses now.).  Also, many of the enemies have no weaknesses at all.  For example very few enemies are weak to Dryad.  It is one of the more powerful spells, but not enough to offset hitting a weakness.  I think that Popoi has a lot less to balance than Purim, but there is still room for improvement.

I have seen links to this thread around and I like that it is picking up steam.  The more suggestions and play-testers there are can only help improve this already great hack!

acediez

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #241 on: January 06, 2016, 12:06:30 pm »
Yeah, the item patch is very useful, especially for hard mode. I can confirm the 9 item, Proper casing, and SD2 Improvement patches all work with v0.10. Only the VWF patch does not seem to work with v0.10.

Great! I'm very interested on replaying this game with this hack, and being able to mix it with those other improvement patches would be beyond awesome.

Sorry if it has been asked before (skimmed through the topic and I didn't see it), has anyone tried to make it work with the MSU-1 patch?

Also, for the people who are testing it at the moment, is the patch in its current state (v0.10) playable for a full playthrough?

Btw, thanks for working on this! It pretty much covers everything that I would rather have differently on this otherwise great game.

Atrushan

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #242 on: January 06, 2016, 12:48:27 pm »
Imo a 9 item patch would just make remedy more useless than it already is (well not useless but less useful than all of her other spells if you have the items). I kinda like where we're going with cure water but also don't at the same time. If cure water becomes less useful it'll just go to item spam and only be used when you're out of items. I think the issue with cure isn't it's effectiveness but moreso the ineffectiveness of the other spells and the limited mp. Although chain casting spells would also get a little tiresome if the time stop when it kinda stops the flow of battle. Would it be possible to remove the whole being unable to move when being the target of a spell thing? If you're being hit you'll be knocked back anyways so it's kinda unnecessary.

theonyxphoenix

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #243 on: January 06, 2016, 04:33:44 pm »
Imo a 9 item patch would just make remedy more useless than it already is (well not useless but less useful than all of her other spells if you have the items). I kinda like where we're going with cure water but also don't at the same time. If cure water becomes less useful it'll just go to item spam and only be used when you're out of items. I think the issue with cure isn't it's effectiveness but moreso the ineffectiveness of the other spells and the limited mp. Although chain casting spells would also get a little tiresome if the time stop when it kinda stops the flow of battle. Would it be possible to remove the whole being unable to move when being the target of a spell thing? If you're being hit you'll be knocked back anyways so it's kinda unnecessary.

I think that 9 items may be too many as well.  I think that an increased MP pool for the girl is a good idea. I definitely agree with the other spells becoming more useful is paramount.  The benefit that Cure Water over the other items is that it is multi-target.   Playing on hard difficulty I find that if one character gets hit hard then I use an item and reserve full cure for other situations. 

I have been able to get up to the Dragon Worm in the pureland by utilizing all three healing items (whereas in Vanilla I hardly used any at all).  Dragon Worm just dishes it out too fast.

@ Azulo, I am playing on Hard and have almost completed the game so I think that it should be fully playable on Normal.  Unfortunately I cannot attest to any glitches or bugs after the Pure Land.

Atrushan

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #244 on: January 06, 2016, 04:40:25 pm »
All the other spells are multi target as well though aren't they?  Sabers at least were iirc. But wasn't that unavailable with the targeting thing? Were you using the menu for the multi target cures?

SageOwl

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #245 on: January 06, 2016, 06:24:52 pm »
Great! I'm very interested on replaying this game with this hack, and being able to mix it with those other improvement patches would be beyond awesome.

Sorry if it has been asked before (skimmed through the topic and I didn't see it), has anyone tried to make it work with the MSU-1 patch?

Also, for the people who are testing it at the moment, is the patch in its current state (v0.10) playable for a full playthrough?

Btw, thanks for working on this! It pretty much covers everything that I would rather have differently on this otherwise great game.
I have not used the MSU-1 on an emulator, but I am sure it would work fine for the ones that support it. I have however used it with the SD2SNES Flash Cart and this hack works perfectly even in conjunction with the 9 item patch. In fact, I doubt I can go back to the original any time soon after using it because it makes the experience that much better. I actually had already downloaded the album most of the tracks came from and really wanted them implemented into the game, so my wish came true.

theonyxphoenix

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #246 on: January 06, 2016, 06:35:28 pm »
All the other spells are multi target as well though aren't they?  Sabers at least were iirc. But wasn't that unavailable with the targeting thing? Were you using the menu for the multi target cures?

All spells are multi-target and can target allies or enemies.  So Moon Energy, Revivify are multi-target.  I only mentioned Cure Water as multi-target as it's value over just using items for healing.

Atrushan

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #247 on: January 07, 2016, 12:58:36 am »
I haven't played very far recently and I don't remember all the spells. Was there a regen spell? If not, changing Cure Water to a regeneration over time spell might actually be more beneficial and completely remove her pure healbot tendencies. If it's possible to do such a thing anyways. You could either give it a time limit, or a limit on how many ticks it regens, and then modify the time limit or amount of ticks per spirit level. Doing this, you could combine Cure Water + other defensive spells to keep the heal at relevant stages while not making it over powered.

Regrs

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #248 on: January 08, 2016, 02:38:20 pm »
There is no Regen spell. A one byte change will make Cure Water single target if people think its overpowered.

Moon Energy is a single target spell in the base game. Making it multi-target breaks it even more then it already is. It ignores the fact it was cast on multiple targets (since it can't be normally) so every character gets a full strength version of the spell. Edit: I was wrong. It does actually take the targets into account, still overpowered to mult-cast though.

Also Randi has all the base lines to have the ability to cast spells. He has animations and his own (unused) arrays in RAM for the values and there is three unused "Spells Known" bits that are probably meant for him. The "Heal Party" event code also has a unused operand to heal Randi's MP, even though he doesn't have any. The spell menu however has no coding relating to Randi, the first thing it does is check to see if the ring menu is open over him and if it is, it exits. The status menu also does a check for Randi to remove the MP: XX/XX part from the screen.

But good luck modifying that menu in the first place. That thing has so many gotchas and stupid things about it to play those animations and split the spell list it isn't funny.

Quote
Are bosses immune to all status ailments or is it possible to use Silence?  I feel like I was able to use it early game or it just may have been my imagination.  Of course some things like slow don't matter because enemies don't have much evasion.
I think they are immune, maybe they are not immune to their weak type's status effects ? but that would surprise me and some boss only use magic so silence would make them a target practice so they probably kept that from happening.

Bosses are immune to every status ailment except for Stun #1, Stun #2, and Ghost. Shadows are the exception (and technically aren't bosses), they are immune to everything but Ghost.

Quote
I didnt knew about the stone saber until recently too, it is way too powerful compared to other sabers tho.. its practicly the same as ice saber but you can still hit the enemy while it is petrified and its an instant-kill.. Thunder saber has been said to increase critical hit many times, I guess its an old rumor that still appear on some FAQs, I read somewhere that it actually does nothing at all, IIRC regrs confirmed that here previously. Oh just checked my sources, and actually regers is also the one who informed the guy who made the spell guide on gamefaqs : link to faq The faq also contains other errors here and there so should not be thought as always acurate, but its still a good reference. There is already moon energy that garantees critical hits for some time (or a number of hits ?) so I think making thundersaber deal confusion or balloon (altho it would still be another paralyzing effect...) would make sense since they are sylhphid's status effects. Or maybe lumina could confuse/silence (as if the enemy was blinded ?). Still there is alot of balancing to be done in this area because right now, all sabers cost 2 have the same chance to cause the status effect but some are just better than others.. Ill probably reduce the status effect chance overall and increase the ones which are worse and also maybe add a bit more damage to the engulfed status. Even tho the satus effect will happen less frequently the damage increase when attacking enemies weak to your sabers element will always work, so It might help to make you choose the saber you want to use depending on the area's principal elemental weakness instead of always using stone saber.

lol, I remember contacting that guy, but I never heard back. Didn't know he updated the document.
Moon Energy lasts for (ElementalLevel / NumTargets) + 1 attacks.
Confusion (Holy crap this spell needs renamed) would be annoying on a Saber I think. Sure it prevents them from spell casting, but it also makes them wander off like an idiot.

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One big issue is being knocked unconscious.  It happens rather frequently and spells certain doom at this point.  Since Lumina provides decent physical protection, is there a way that Defender could be replaced to provide status protection?
Hum, I like the idea, I really dont like beign uncousious either.. Im not sure if it should replace defender, be an added effect or be applies to another spell, but ill keep this in mind.

Fyi, there is 2 versions of "Knocked Out". The most common one comes from a sleep spell and has the field message "XXX is knocked out!"
The other one has no message and happens when you lose > 25% your max HP in a single attack. For players it only lasts a single tick. For enemies it can last up to 6, depending on damage inflicted.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 03:08:07 pm by Regrs »

Atrushan

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #249 on: January 08, 2016, 04:43:44 pm »
While cure is pretty high on the scale of power,  I think the main issue being talked about it is the female being forced into a healbot position due to it being the most useful spell she has and wasting any chances to cure can spell death on hard mode from what I hear. That is why I suggested it be changed into a regen instead if possible. She wouldn't have to continuously cast cure and could focus on other spells.

Regrs

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #250 on: January 08, 2016, 05:47:01 pm »
While cure is pretty high on the scale of power,  I think the main issue being talked about it is the female being forced into a healbot position due to it being the most useful spell she has and wasting any chances to cure can spell death on hard mode from what I hear. That is why I suggested it be changed into a regen instead if possible. She wouldn't have to continuously cast cure and could focus on other spells.

Ah well there isn't a lot you can do. Adding new spells would require a rewrite. There's space for one more item if you replace the ? item. Adding it to a shop would be a little difficult though. Or you could buff the power of the current healing items.

Also if your having trouble, due to a bug, with proper timing you can use a Royal Jam as a Cup of Wishes.

Panzer88

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #251 on: January 09, 2016, 03:02:43 pm »
I don't think you should ever design a game around the assumption that someone is going to use fast forward. Assume they are playing it on hardware with a flashcart and balance the game appropriately.
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Atrushan

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #252 on: January 09, 2016, 03:31:25 pm »
Ah well there isn't a lot you can do. Adding new spells would require a rewrite. There's space for one more item if you replace the ? item. Adding it to a shop would be a little difficult though. Or you could buff the power of the current healing items.

Also if your having trouble, due to a bug, with proper timing you can use a Royal Jam as a Cup of Wishes.

With that bug, you can use pretty much any healing item as one, can't you? Although Royal Jam would be full health, but I'm pretty sure you can even use candies with it. While it'd be extremely rare, I'd imagine even cure water could do so(Actually it might not be so rare, I forget how long it takes to cast cure water).

It's too bad there were no forms of HOTs in the game, this could have fixed cure water easily I think. I guess the only thing you can really do is try to make the other spells better without breaking them too. I mean if Defender and the other spells make you not even need to cast cure, then it'd be even more of a problem, lol. Hmmmm.....Was there a defense penetration stat in the game? If so, you could make one or two boss attacks for every boss have defense penetration so that Defender wouldn't be a catch-all and she'd have to use Cure Water for those specific attacks.

Still though, considering the girl has only buffs/sabers/heals, she's bound to be a healbot I think. I think swapping some spells between the sprite and the female would do better. You could give the female all of the buffs/debuff attack spells/heals, while the sprite could get the sabers/attack spells. Then maybe remove some boss status immunities to make the debuffs a tempting spell for the girl. Though, depending on how much damage she'd do with the status attack spells(and of course factoring in that the status effects themselves could be really good), you may wanna lower her magic if you did this.

As for the confusion rename. Honestly, confusion makes TOTAL sense to me. The enemy just runs around randomly not knowing what the hell they're doing, lol.

As for the patch, yeah V0.10 I can't assign spells at all. Or rather, you can assign them, but they don't work when you press the keys. At least if the sounds are an indication of the spell actually being assigned. Basically what happens is you hold R, hit your button on the spell, it makes the confirm sound. But when you go to use the spell itself, it does nothing.

Btw Zhade, just played the boss before gnome again. Apparently he can cast spells WHILE turning into orbs. That was what made him so difficult(well and the fact that I never equipped my sprite with any armor hardly, forgot about doing that >>). He'd just cast those AOE spells on my team and become orbs at the same time, making any spells cast on him not landing, or, not even allowing him to become a target. I pretty much had to ONLY attack him with weapons and use items(the spell system you made kinda makes me panic cuz I dunno if I'm hitting allies or enemies with so many targets around, lol. Pretty sure I had my sprite casting energy absorb on the lead character a few times...).

Also, this modification patch is supposed to make the game more actiony right? I was wondering, would it be possible to make the action thingy never go down at all, and just lower character physical attack stats to compensate for them being able to attack(full damage) all the time? I find that waiting around for 100% is half the game honestly, and causes more game disruption than the ring menu, lol. I think if you could always attack. Then again that'd make you able to pretty much make enemies never able to get up...Hm...maybe make it recharge a lot faster, or something? Also, why is the spear pretty much ALWAYS better than the sword, in every way? Lol. It gives more distance and more damage throughout the game until you get mana magic, lol.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 05:22:07 pm by Atrushan »

Regrs

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #253 on: January 10, 2016, 04:15:15 am »
With that bug, you can use pretty much any healing item as one, can't you? Although Royal Jam would be full health, but I'm pretty sure you can even use candies with it. While it'd be extremely rare, I'd imagine even cure water could do so(Actually it might not be so rare, I forget how long it takes to cast cure water).

It's too bad there were no forms of HOTs in the game, this could have fixed cure water easily I think. I guess the only thing you can really do is try to make the other spells better without breaking them too. I mean if Defender and the other spells make you not even need to cast cure, then it'd be even more of a problem, lol. Hmmmm.....Was there a defense penetration stat in the game? If so, you could make one or two boss attacks for every boss have defense penetration so that Defender wouldn't be a catch-all and she'd have to use Cure Water for those specific attacks.

Still though, considering the girl has only buffs/sabers/heals, she's bound to be a healbot I think. I think swapping some spells between the sprite and the female would do better. You could give the female all of the buffs/debuff attack spells/heals, while the sprite could get the sabers/attack spells. Then maybe remove some boss status immunities to make the debuffs a tempting spell for the girl. Though, depending on how much damage she'd do with the status attack spells(and of course factoring in that the status effects themselves could be really good), you may wanna lower her magic if you did this.

As for the confusion rename. Honestly, confusion makes TOTAL sense to me. The enemy just runs around randomly not knowing what the hell they're doing, lol.

Candy & Chocolate check to see if your in that "dying but not dead yet" phase of zero HP. If so they cancel the healing action. Royal Jam forgets to make this check so you can heal yourself off the floor with it if you can use the item before the Ghost status effect is applied. (You lose the ability to target the item at that point).

There's no armor penetration either. One option would be to raise Lucid Barrier's defense. It uses it's own defense stat when it's active. (Which I think is 1/4 the casters defense).

In game the spells name is "Silence". Which it does do, but is clearly not it's primary effect. Always confused me when I was younger. lol

Atrushan

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #254 on: January 10, 2016, 11:59:29 am »
Yeah, after looking at all of the spells in gamefaqs(It's been a long while since I've played SoM as I've mentioned) I saw it named Silence. Definitely would make more sense to be named Confusion, if there's enough space in char limits. Also I notice some spells completely negate other spells effects. Overshadowing older spells is kinda bad. =/ Hopefully something could be done to fix that.

zhade

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #255 on: January 11, 2016, 05:41:11 am »
About the "silence/confusion" thing, I have to admit it took a while for me and my friends as kids to figure out its the same thing :P Sometimes we thought the game was bugging when we couldnt cast.. only later we realized that our spell that confuses is called silence. I still prefer silence as the name between the 2 because its the only way to know that it actually does silence since the only message you get is "[character] is confused". Another name would probably better tho :P something that accounts for the 2 states like eh.. dazed ? can't focus ? numb ? subdued ?

Atrushan

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #256 on: January 11, 2016, 07:00:16 pm »
About the "silence/confusion" thing, I have to admit it took a while for me and my friends as kids to figure out its the same thing :P Sometimes we thought the game was bugging when we couldnt cast.. only later we realized that our spell that confuses is called silence. I still prefer silence as the name between the 2 because its the only way to know that it actually does silence since the only message you get is "[character] is confused". Another name would probably better tho :P something that accounts for the 2 states like eh.. dazed ? can't focus ? numb ? subdued ?

True, although if you were to be confused I don't think you'd be able to cast spells properly either, so maybe just keep using confused as the status effect. I don't think many RPGs allowed confused enemies to cast spells anyways, I could be wrong though, I rarely used status effects in RPGs(bar FF13 where it was a NECESSITY).

DragonArk

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #257 on: January 13, 2016, 11:41:01 pm »
Wow, i've played secret of mana so many times, and I didn't even know what silence actually did. Although I have to admit I never used the girl for anything other than heal and ensuna (whatever its called). Well I lie, i might have used some of her elemental weapon buff every so often for a boss or two, or before I use an inn. I think her other skills either need a buff or she needs to have that mp skill like the sprite. I always found it strange that she could never do that.

If you do make one of magics into mp steal, I suggest using the same as sprites but pink (and maybe weaker). But the problem that arises is that then you have unlimited heal. I'm guessing that's why they may have left it out in the first place.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2016, 12:09:21 am by DragonArk »

SageOwl

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #258 on: January 14, 2016, 11:45:09 am »
Wow, i've played secret of mana so many times, and I didn't even know what silence actually did. Although I have to admit I never used the girl for anything other than heal and ensuna (whatever its called). Well I lie, i might have used some of her elemental weapon buff every so often for a boss or two, or before I use an inn. I think her other skills either need a buff or she needs to have that mp skill like the sprite. I always found it strange that she could never do that.

If you do make one of magics into mp steal, I suggest using the same as sprites but pink (and maybe weaker). But the problem that arises is that then you have unlimited heal. I'm guessing that's why they may have left it out in the first place.
At the end of the game when you fight that dark blob you pretty much have to use Lucent Beam with her otherwise you're in for a long fight. So yeah, Cure Remedy and a light beam is all she is good for.

I figured Silence was only there to fuck with the player by reversing your controls. I think by default I believed that it shut your magic down simply because Final Fantasy had drilled that into my brain as an alternate meaning to the word "silence", but I had never actually tried to cast anything while afflicted by it.

Atrushan

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #259 on: January 14, 2016, 04:06:56 pm »
Balloon is actually another one of her best spells, or so I read. Since it's 1 MP cost and balloons your enemies making them do nothing but stand there like buffoons while you either run away or hack away at them until they're dead. I think it's multitarget too. And yeah, I don't think she needs the MP Absorb ability just because that would make her insanely broken since she'd always be able to cure, unless the bosses could 1 shot a member of the party and then that'd just be bad game design. with the extremely limited amount of revives you can have between store visits. Then again she could just MP absorb and cast Revivifier, at least that'd give her a reason to use Revivifier, but in such a case I think it'd just make your party unstoppable. If Zhade is actually adding MP regeneration though(I think he said something about testing it), I think that would fit much better anyways, the sprite could still keep the MP absorb spell though in such a case for the "right now" spellcasting effect, and the girl could just regen mana over time so she wouldn't be broken. The mana regen on it's own might actually make her more than a healbot since some of her spellcasts are pretty cheap. Remedy I read is another good spell of hers, apparently when an enemy is casting a high damaging spell on your party, you can remedy all and the animation is long enough to block the damage.