to new version v1.005
If you'd ask me what kind of hack this'll be, the answer is:
1. MP/action economy
ATB proceeds instantly to the next event (player selects an action, enemy attacks, poison/old/... ticks, etc.) and then waits until this event is resolved.
Additionally ATB are tied to MP.
MP is reset at battle start to 10 (more under certain circumstances).
When you have 100 MP after finishing your turn and you're not defending, 100 MP are used to skip the wait until your next turn giving you double/triple/... turns if you have the MP to spare.
Defending instead refills 100 MP. (Think Bravely Default and you'll get the idea)
Certain actions do not use your turn free of charge: !Scan, !Spellblade. (don't get your hopes up, spellblade has been nerfed hard)
The Quick spell had to be scrapped.
If you take MP damage that exceeds your current MP, the rest will be added to the ATB needed until your next turn.
Vanilla FF5 has 21 jobs + freelancer, it is possible to add 10 more - still working on that biggest obstacle is... the job selection menu.
Characters were kinda same-ish, that has been changed by disallowing certain jobs on each character, e.g. Bartz can never be a chemist and Lenna just can't motivate herself to go Berserker, and no one can go back to freelancer, heroes don't have time to be unemployed.
!Black1-6 and the like have been compressed into just !Black - you already have to unlock new spells by buying or finding them, double-locking them is stupid.
Every job has now 5 levels which give abilities, a few will be copies from other jobs.
Also each job level up now increases character stats permanently, e.g. each level of monk gives +2 VIT and +30 base HP (before VIT multiplier) and white mage adds +1 AGL and +2 MAG.
You are also now limited to a total of 30 job levels per character.
ABP to next job level is now based on total job levels gained.
This is meant to represent their life experience; in the vanilla model they could've spent 30 years as a knight, then put on a different set of robes - white mage - with suddenly NOTHING hinting at their knighthood, no muscles or endurance from wearing heavy armors, not even able to lift a sword, a huge part of what makes them them just gone.
All jobs are like vanilla mime now: all innates, only job ability set and 3 open slots.
What I've said about job restrictions is only half-true:
a) you can get a special piece of equipment that gives you access to all jobs while it is equipped BUT if you remove the item and have any level in an illegal job (e.g. not unlocked yet) you'll suffer from uncurable old status.
b) there's an alternate game mode that gives you access to all the jobs at the start but once one job is chosen you can't switch anymore.
Also some old abilities are gone (all Equip X for starters) and some new ones were added in their place,
including but not limited to the ability to cast most spells on all allies/enemies, surviving lethal attacks or double loot.
Almost everything is now bound to the 8 elements, non-elemental is now truly rare.
E.g. most swords are fire-type, knives are poison, axes earth, etc.
Equipment belongs to an element as well and grants weaknesses and resistances accordingly.
Shields only remove a weakness to the element they have.
The overall resistances and weaknesses of a character can be viewed in the status screen.
Icons for the elements are added to the names of items, spells, enemies.
If any enemy has no weakness this is a bug.
Only player characters are allowed to have no weakness.
Also while defending, weaknesses are ignored.
The element of relics provides a +10% bonus to their element.
Each character has two elements for which they also increase attack power of weapons and spells by +10% (additive with relic bonus).
Bartz empowers wind and lightning elemental attacks
Lenna empowers water and ice elemental attacks
Galuf empowers earth and holy elemental attacks
Faris empowers fire and poison elemental attacks
4. Field effect
Based on the terrain/background, 5 element icons are applied to the field.
Each time any action is used that has an element, that element's icon pushes the list from the right side and kicks the left most icon out.
Each matching icon for an action gives +10% damage/heal or a slightly increased chance to inflict a status effect, the opposing element reduces the same.
!Summon (the ability, not the spells!) is affected in a more extreme way.
Spells have no longer fixed attack power but scale with weapons.
Huge parts of the spell arsenal were replaced, tier1-3 spells are condensed to just one spell.
MP costs were adapted to the new action economy, so e.g. Fire is free but weak (100% attack scaling) while Flare is quite expensive but much stronger (25 MP, 145% scaling)
"Spell menus" for physical techs exist now as well.
Gear is no longer restricted by job.
Instead of head, body and relic you have now 3 relic slots.
Those items have been refluffed as bracelets, jewels, amulets, etc.
Items are no longer used up instead you get a cooldown for ALL
items on that character, this includes !Item, !Mix, !Throw and !Drink.
A few items have fixed length cooldowns but get stronger with higher stacks, e.g. a 1-stack potion heals 50, 99 potions 1250 but cooldown is static; compare with elixir which always recovers all HP but gets cooldown reduction from "try again next battle" at 1 copy down to about 10 turns at a 99 stack; MP recovered increases also (15 -> 100).
Cooldown can be speed up with defending and the !Time spell "Renew".
Breaking a rod does not add a cooldown but still removes the item.
8. Victory recovery
Potions/HiPotions/Elixirs can no longer be used out of battle to prevent infinite healing.
Instead some HP are automatically restored after winning a battle, specifically:
(1/8 maxHP + 4 * (VIT - 20)) * (VIT + 12) / 32
However, dead characters have to be manually revived.
Potential max HP is increased from 65.535 to 524.272 (or up to 16 segments of up to 32767 HP)
Bosses and strong regular monsters can have "HP barriers", any overflow damage when reaching such a barrier is lost.
E.g. a boss with a barrier at 5000 HP is sitting at 5001 HP and hit for 9999 damage, he'll only drop to 5000 HP now and only the next attack continues as normal.
Upon passing a HP barrier the following stats increase slightly: attack, STR, MAG, AGL, evade, m.evade.
Once past a HP barrier the enemy can never be brought back above such a barrier.
Successfully inflicting a death, petrify or similar status will not kill a boss/monster with HP barrier directly, only drop it to the next HP barrier.
Enemies that hold a rare drop will now give it 100% if you do not possess one copy of it yet.
Also there can now be up to 8 enemies on the field at the same time.
10. Status effects
Immunities are no longer absolute nor is a lack of the same a guarantee (after the hit/miss check) a status gets inflicted.
Attacker's MAG increases the chance, target's VIT reduces it and the target's affinity to the status effect's element modifies the chance as well.
That means you can theoretically apply insta-kill effects to any boss.
Aside from that some status effects have been changed to be stronger of their victim is weak to the respective element.
Someone weak to poison takes double damage from poison ticks (base: (maxHP/16+20)*1.68 or ~10% per turn),
HP leaks burns twice as much HP if weak to fire (base maxHP/512 + 1, capped at 20, halved against player, per ATB unit).
11. Character rename
Available at any time. Just hold L/R while opening the menu to rename the top-most character.
12. New Game Plus mode
Character levels, job levels, items, magic and abilities carry over,
cap of total job levels increases from 30 to 70 (NOT enough to max all jobs of a character)
and enemy stats increase; enemies cap at NG+15.
Can be accessed at any time by holding L/R when loading a save game.
General difficulty can be adjusted in the config menu (replaces non-functional message option).
Adjusts only enemy numerical stats: HP, atk, def, m.def, STR, MAG, Speed.
Saving is always enabled.
Escaped monster grant 50% exp instead of 0.
Multi-killed monster (e.g. via Life, Gargoyle respawn) now grant the exp for each kill instead of only once.
Total exp gain per battle is capped at a measly 8,388,607 - though that was enough to go from Lv8 to 95, so...
15. Misc. notable nerfs
X-Fight went from 4 hits, half damage (except for spell-weapons), ignore def/evade to 3 hits of 0.56x damage that respects def and evade.
Spellblade went from 2/3/4x with ignore defense (or kill) on weakness to just 2x.
Double Grip increases attack by 25% instead of doubling final damage.
Dual Wield imposes a 13/16 penalty to attack power.
X-Magic imposes a 13/16 penalty to spell power.
Weakness hits only ignore 25% defense instead of 100%.
Haste reduces delay between actions now only by 33% instead of 50%.
Slow increases delay between actions now only by 50% instead of 100%.
Song bonuses are capped at +30.
!Mix level bonus can not exceed 239 - gotta work a bit harder than just stack a boss up to L255 then Lv5 death him.
=== Character/Job limitations ===
One of my favorite things to do in RPGs is building "my team".
FF5 doesn't really allow that since you can just grind until everything is maxed out.
Plus that unrestricted job selection entirely disregards characterization.
Bartz is afraid of height why can he be a dragoon?
How can spoiled, anti-aggressive princess Lenna be a Berserker or a Thief?
How can our resident amnesiac Galuf remember enough to cast spells as any mage job?
And pirate queen Faris acting like a self-sacrificing knight makes not much sense either.
Admittedly I couldn't follow through on every plot restriction or there'd be too few jobs available.
Next point is how little influence experience in other jobs meant.
Spent half the game as a Black Mage and then switched to a knight without taking Black as an ability?
Congratz, you've basically just successfully denied half your life as if it didn't happen.
So I went and made it so you gain at least a few stat points for it,
making the knight in this example a character with a much higher magic stat than otherwise.
Plus giving innate abilities for any job, I mean why does it matter to my ability to learn Blue magic
whether I wear a blue tunic from the Freelancer job or the green tunic from the ranger job?
=== Turn/MP System ===
At first I wanted to scrap MP entirely.
It is a system done to death, especially when it has lost its entire meaning with gigantic MP pools and
MP restorative items as easily available as drinking water.
Doesn't work out too well once you remember that tiered magic exists.
Or how impossible it would be to balance a cost-free death spell to regular damage spells.
Then I encountered Bravely Default and a few tactics games that used action points with varying cost by action.
Considering how BD seems to me like a stealth remake of FF5 going full cycle on that idea seemed like a natural choice.
=== Elements ===
FF5 has 8 regular elements but many enemies have either no weakness at all or only to one for which you've barely any access.
Outside of region-locked Gaia you've only access to ONE water attack in the entire game: the Leviatan summon. (Aqua Rake is non-elemental)
Poison doesn't fare better with just Bio or holy elemental with Holy and very few weapons - most at the very end of the game.
And there's nonsense like being immune to poison damage but still being able to be poisoned.
A 180 turn was in order: EVERYTHING gets an element so weaknesses can matter again.
Also status effects were tied to those elements for those same reasons:
a being weak to poison damage should also be weak to poison tick damage.
=== Title ===
Almost everything is different, i.e. divergent from the original, even things that amount to "nothing".
Plus, void is everything in the plot, means it exists not.
=== High Power Level ===
This is meant in the sense that status effects work on "everything", late game bosses still have weaknesses
and most skills still remain useful throughout the game instead of bombarding the player with a new, better skill every 2 minutes.
And so on.
If Mix/Dragon Power (target gets +20 levels, capped at 255, usable on everything with NO save),
the old status (reduces level every couple seconds), e.g. via Blue/L2 Old, and Blue/L5 Death exist
everything is killable in less than a dozen "attacks", even if it has 1.000.000.000.000 HP and is immune to *everything* three times over.
This invaldiates the meaning of commonplace-normal, boring "balance", i.e. status effects being useless and free full heals existing.
After winning the fight against the wall of text you can grab your reward here
WIP, obviously, expect bugs.