For your Equipment Progression Balance, you may want to rearrange Grave Bat's Vampire Cape drop. That thing being available so early is...
Yeah, I agree. Back when I released it there were not so many easy ways to encounter later monsters earlier in the game, nor easy ways to farm rare drops. Plus I wanted to preserve the ability to get better armor than you can buy in a store from current monsters, akin to how the original drop table was structured.
Since then though, there have been several new hacks which throw that out of whack when combined with Equipment Progression Balance, e.g. No Missable Monsters making Grave Bats encounterable earlier along with the day/night cycle hack. On top of that, the changes to Lunar Magic make it much easier to farm items from monsters. All of this compounds to make it so monsters which drop equipment nicer than what shops have should probably be scaled back significantly.
Whereas before, getting a Vampire Cape from Equipment Progression Balance would've required excessive grinding or just getting pretty lucky, now if you combine all those things you can farm them as early as the Upperland by waiting for night time to hunt Grave Bats, or even easier use Early Luna to get Luna early and then backtrack to Upperland from Kakkara to farm them from Grave Bats at night time using the Lunar Magic Mimic Box trick.
So yeah, I'll probably be issuing a balance tweak to Equipment Progression Balance to adjust that and a few other small things eventually.
That said, I'd like to go on a bit of a digression, not directed at you per se, but something I've been wanting to explain better after talking about Equipment Progression Balance privately with many people over the past year.
I think people commonly misunderstand that it isn't meant to be a difficulty rebalance. It's meant to reduce the original game's uneven progression. I think it's important to think of balanced progression as a separate concept from difficulty that needs to be adjusted separately.
In vanilla the acquisition of equipment and money is wildly uneven. There are several examples where armor is too strong, too weak, too expensive, or too cheap across the game. EPB flattens that progression so that it is more predictable.
Specifically, one of the most important things EPB does is flatten grinding. As you progress through the game, each time you reach a new shop you should have just enough money to afford to buy everything you need so long as you fight and defeat all the monsters in your path along the way. You won't need to grind, but you also won't be able to afford stuff if you skip too many fights along the way. Such is not the case in vanilla which has several examples of mandatory grinding, e.g. the infamous grind for Griffin Helms in the Pure Land... lots of fun...
Of course I understand that zero grinding is not everybody's cup of tea, so that's why I created the Adjust Enemy Difficulty hack that lets you independently adjust monster stats as well. If you apply EPB and also use the Adjust Enemy Difficulty hacks, you can create some difficulty tiers that reintroduce grinding, but makes it even and consistent across the game so long as you adjust EXP and GP up or down together. Some examples I prefer:
- Very Easy: Double experience and GP on monsters/bosses. (You can skip lots of enemies and still be rolling in EXP/GP.)
- Easy: Vanilla monster/boss stats. (No changes from vanilla.)
- Normal: 200% HP and MP on all monsters and bosses. (I think SoM is too easy by default, so I recommend doubling HP and MP on all monsters/bosses to create a "normal" difficulty.)
- Hard: Bosses have 400% HP and MP, 50% experience, and 50% GP. Enemies have 200% HP and MP.
- Very Hard: Bosses have 400% HP and MP, 25% experience, and 25% GP. Enemies have 200% HP and MP. All monsters and bosses have slightly higher stats on everything, which makes them hit harder. Plus the "Harder Final Boss" hack to make Dark Lich and the Mana Beast much more difficult.
On the hard tiers, grinding is reintroduced by virtue of the fact that bosses drop less EXP/GP. with EPB + nerfing boss EXP/GP, you will need to grind a little bit in each region. Obviously you could build your own difficulty tiers using the Adjust Enemy Difficulty hacks to mess around with monster stats as you like, but so long as you adjust EXP and GP together, EPB will keep the progression balanced regardless of what difficulty you prefer or how much grinding you prefer.
Anyway, I'm sure EPB could use some small adjustments (like the Vampire Cape drop) now that so many new hacks have come out that people want to combine with it since I first released it. (I've also been thinking of making adjustments to make it combine with Unique Equipment better, though TBH I'm surprised at how well they already combine.) But I am certain that the broad strokes have taken balance in the right direction. It took dozens of full playthroughs from start to finish and weeks of spreadsheets to get it right. These aren't numbers I slapped together in a weekend. As such, I encourage people not to rush to judgment on it and give it a full try at some point, as there is a lot of subtlety to game-wide balance considerations, as the discussions of the complex tradeoffs with regards to overhauling the magic system in this thread have illuminated.
October 03, 2019, 11:17:15 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
I hadn't considered that someone would want vanilla Evil Gate and Firenado at the same time. Seems crazy to me but whatever, I'll support that combination.
Lemme know the precise technique you plan to use so I can update the RHDN version of the hack. I have a version in progress that integrates most of your edits already. Just need to come to consensus on how to handle the spell definition code.
I decided to update Firenado to 1.1 anyway: https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4681/
- Corrected palette of target.
- Fixed in-game spell description.
- Included your refactored icon code to make it more efficient.
- Introduced alternate name options (new default is Hellfire).
I also looked into where the precise incompatibility between our two versions of Firenado was and I saw the main difficulty in reconciling them: even if I alter the Exploder pointer to point to a new spell definition in buffer space as my original version of the hack does, my modified copy of the Evil Gate spell definition crashes because you altered the locations of CalculateSpellUses and CalculateSpellPowerAndTimer that Evil Gate calls to near the beginning.
I wrote a new version of the Hellfire spell definition that makes it work with Turbo. You can download an IPS of it here: http://kethinov.com/images/linked/som/hellfire/SecretofManaHellfireTurbo1.1.zip
The relevant code block is:
creates new spell definition in buffer space
080299: [buffer space]
turbo version (adds compatibility with Turbo relocating CalculateSpellUses and CalculateSpellPowerAndTimer):
(I didn't distribute the Turbo version on RHDN since it is only relevant to Turbo which is distributed here.)