News: 11 March 2016 - Forum Rules

Poll

Restored: ROM space allowing, should attacks be tallied for each weapon type used in combat? (support multiple weapon EXP for weapon swapping)

No. Restored already has passive growth, only end-of-combat weapon should receive bonus.
Yes. All weapons used in combat should receive this bonus credit.

Author Topic: Final Fantasy II Restored  (Read 203348 times)

Chicken Knife

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #560 on: May 07, 2021, 02:32:43 pm »
Really exciting stuff with the dual wielding. If we have that in place before the end of my playthrough, I'd love to get a feel for it. The thing I like right off the bat is the conflict between more damage output and maintaining a high evasion percentage with a shield, where evasion is such a critical priority per all the enemy status attacks. And while the total damage output with spell buffs will of course get wild, honestly it already gets wild with multiple casts of berserk alone.

Here's a thought / idea, and I'm curious if you all agree and how easy of a fix this might be: I think there is an issue with the time frame allotted for an input before it becomes a second input. I constantly find myself getting duplicate inputs in battle and in the menus. I regularly have to remind myself to press and release very quickly to avoid this. While the issue can bubble up with these older games, it just seems a little more problematic here. The worst occurrence is in the screen where you get a rare drop from battle and have to move it into the shared inventory. If the time measured before the next input will register can be slightly extended, I think it would be a nice improvement.

redmagejoe

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #561 on: May 07, 2021, 03:35:30 pm »
Implementing dual-wielding is not likely to happen in short order. There's a lot of things to take into account and a lot of additional math to consider, even before looking at ROM space.

As for the "rapid" input reading, I know exactly what you mean, and it's at times irritating.

abw

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #562 on: May 10, 2021, 11:26:13 pm »
I was thinking it'd be better to not the hp drain effect affect target hp directly and instead do user recovery based on damage dealt. It'd still allow enemies to do potent drain recovery effects without it practically being a very nasty defense ignoring hp damage incursion.
That would better match the behaviour seen in later games. It would also significantly shift the balance between defense and evasion and make some of the game's most dangerous monsters much less fearsome. Neither of those is necessarily bad, but they would have to be handled a little carefully.

The greater issue however is mp drain uses similar formula as hp drain, unless it has a unique space for it's own formula, there may be conflict.
Originally and currently they both use the same routine for determining Max / 16, but there's currently a chunk of free space in that bank if we need it, though implementing dual-wielding might take up all that and more.

Is there a way we can set a flag or something to avoid having it take the player's money again, or should we just hope the player doesn't sabotage themselves and put the current implementation into both Bug Fix and Restored for v1.0b?
The flag for whether you've bought a ticket or not is $600C & #$02, and adding a check for that before deducting the fare only takes 7 bytes, but Restored only had 6 free bytes left in bank E :P. Fortunately (?) the nearby routine for converting 8/16/24-byte binary values to decimal for display took up a lot more space than it needed to, so I rewrote it to free up about 400 bytes, which in addition to providing space for adding the check for buying extra tickets will allow me to consolidate my fragmented code for moving the ferry. Maybe even some time this week! (cue crickets for the next month... :banghead:)

The thing I like right off the bat is the conflict between more damage output and maintaining a high evasion percentage with a shield, where evasion is such a critical priority per all the enemy status attacks.
Yeah, right now dual-wielding doesn't provide much benefit over a shield. Assuming it will roughly double your offensive power, though, you'd probably want to make monsters tougher to compensate, but not so tough that dual-wielding becomes required. And higher defense makes magic more attractive, but magic is already under powered... there's a reason I'm trying not to worry about balance until the bugs are fixed and the features are added ;).

If the time measured before the next input will register can be slightly extended, I think it would be a nice improvement.
As it happens, I stumbled across the code for that the other day at $FC58/$FC70. I don't notice any problems myself when playing at normal speed, but if I'm playing at x3 or higher then it can be tricky (but then of course the input sensitivity wasn't designed for faster framerates).

Implementing dual-wielding is not likely to happen in short order. There's a lot of things to take into account and a lot of additional math to consider, even before looking at ROM space.
It's definitely not the kind of thing I can do in five minutes here, five minutes there :(.

redmagejoe

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #563 on: May 11, 2021, 01:28:21 am »
Here's hoping we can get that ferry fix for Restored and Bug Fix if nothing else.

:beer:

ScarabEnigma

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #564 on: May 11, 2021, 05:07:28 pm »
Well, I started doing some testing. What I found so far is..

Interesting. For atk bonus based on strength, it only applies to stat boosts from equipment or innate stat, and Firion's ragnarok, despite having same attack power as Masamune, does not have the atk bonus work properly, equipping the Masamune with a empty offhand with 99 strength will result in 199 atk, but if same case but with ragnarok, its instead 174, which would be the total atk bonus granted to that weapon if equipping a shield or another weapon, looks like a psp unique bug o_o

I still cannot tell if haste does effect main and offhand equally, the hit rate difference seems based on innate weapon accuracy

I also decided to test magic growth rate and how interesting. I cast ultima lvl 12, 26 times in a rank 6 enemy encounter, and it appears the growth bar is halfway to lvl up from that alone. perhaps magic cast counts as two points? or the lvl up goal is in the 50s zone still?

Edit: I have been further playing and have found a couple bits of interest.

Ultima seems to draw power from weapon skills in addition to magic spell lvls.

Wall expires when enemy black magic is used on wall'd ally, though it does not if ally uses black magic on wall user.

Edit pt 2: actually Wall expires when a spell that is it's level or greater is used, ally or enemy, and comparing to nes version, I believe I got the following.

in nes, wall will block spell equal to its lvl or less, but matching level spell from ally cancels effect, and faint memory from previous testing recalls enemy spells don't cancel wall if blocked and same level.

in psp, wall will block spell equal to any lvl below it, matching lvl will cause damage but also cancel the spell, whether its ally or enemy black magic spell. (matching lvl still causing dmg may be another psp bug)
« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 02:28:35 pm by ScarabEnigma »

abw

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #565 on: May 16, 2021, 04:38:53 pm »
Here's hoping we can get that ferry fix for Restored and Bug Fix if nothing else.
For the issue where you get charged money for trying to buy a ferry ticket when you already have a ticket, I've made that fix in both Bug Fix and Restored. For the issue where the ferry doesn't move unless you board it, I'm sticking with my original assessment that this is not a bug, especially given that the remakes not only didn't change that behaviour but doubled down and added new text to reinforce it, so it's only in Restored. I've uploaded updated patches etc.


Airship rides also suffer from the same billing issue as ferry rides, and any ticket bought before the airship gets captured becomes non-redeemable after airship service resumes.

The first issue is a little trickier to deal with than its ferry counterpart since you have a choice of destinations each with their own price. If you try to buy a ticket for the same destination you've already paid for, we can skip deducting gold like we're doing for ferry tickets, but if you try to buy a ticket for a different destination than the ticket you already have, should we only charge/refund the difference in prices, or keep the current behaviour where buying a new ticket discards your old ticket?

The second issue can be solved by saving and restoring the fare paid bit and X/Y destination bytes before the airship gets captured and after it escapes, but that requires changing RAM that gets saved. It looks like the airship status byte $6004 only uses 4 of its 8 bits, so I should be able to re-purpose 1 of the 4 unused bits to save the fare paid bit and use 2 more of them to save which of the 4 possible destinations the paid fare was for. When commenting the disassembly, however, I haven't had much reason to care about anything related to the airship yet, so it'll take some more analysis to figure out exactly where in the game's code those changes need to be made.

Ultima seems to draw power from weapon skills in addition to magic spell lvls.
This we knew about, though we're not sure what the damage formula is in the remakes. For this project, Ultima currently works mostly like a normal unresistable spell but its base spell power is 25 + the sum of all of the caster's skill levels (counting from 0); whether that's too powerful or not is still undecided.

Wall expires when enemy black magic is used on wall'd ally, though it does not if ally uses black magic on wall user.
Is that just beneficial black magic (e.g. Haste), or any black magic (e.g. Fire)?

Here's an idea for Restored: if a black magic spell would break Wall, we could make Wall still add its level to the defender's successes. E.g. if you have Wall 5 and get hit by a level 8 spell, Wall still gets cancelled like it currently does but also gives you +5 defense successes against the incoming spell.

redmagejoe

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #566 on: May 16, 2021, 04:59:45 pm »
I'll update the submission with the latest patches soon.

ScarabEnigma

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #567 on: May 16, 2021, 08:36:23 pm »
I spent a couple days maxing out all of firion's spells in my psp save (easy to do but still lengthy when you know how the growth curve works), and have found the damage results of spells.

These damage numbers are based on having 0 intelligence/spirit penalties, achieved by equipping no armor unless its gold hairpin, ribbon, white robe, black robe, or protect ring

Fire, Blizzard, Thunder, or Scourge, do about the 2.7ks st or 400-500s AoE at lvl 16, or 5.8ks st or 1.3-1.4ks AoE when hitting weakness, drain having same base spell power would mean the 2.7ks st or 400-500s AoE at lvl 16

Flare and Holy do 3ks range at lvl 16, or 500-700 range AoE

Ultima is a very interesting case meanwhile, by maxing out every weapon skill and spell in inventory, it ignores m def outright and even if equipping penalty inducing gear, still does same damage amount.

it does 9.3k dmg st or 2.3k dmg AoE, it hits harder than weakness exploit on elemental spells.
However, there is another catch, during gameplay, i discovered ultima has a very small chance of doing critical hit, if that occurs, it deals twice as much damage as normal, thus 18.6k st (seen as 9999 in game), or 4.6ks AoE (likely only gonna be seen affecting one target, very rare sight)

It is possible to do more than 9999 dmg in a single hit, I tested battle vs emperor with max buffed blood sword and though it hit 9999 as seen on screen, two flare casts doing 2ks each when emperor hp is 15000, did in the remaining hp.

Edit: I tested proc'ing ultima's critical hit on the emperor and sure enough, it was a one hit kill XD.

Chicken Knife

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #568 on: May 19, 2021, 09:11:26 pm »
My playthrough kind of ground to a halt deep in the final dungeon because of an encounter I made the mistake of save stating half way through after taking some serious damage. It's a battle I can't seem to win, but the real problem is that I can't escape from it. The flee command seems to have very little of a random component in this game. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but I'd guess that it takes the agility (or some mix of other stats)  of your party, compares to that of the enemy party, and if yours compares favorably in whatever measurement, you run away. If it doesn't, you can't. Maybe there is a narrow band where it's up to chance, but I've attempted a vast number of times in this fight and just can't succeed. While in easier fights, it seems like an almost guaranteed success. Having the mechanic work like this really defeats the purpose of fleeing.

Eventually, I'll summon up the energy to revert back to the last battery save and redo my progress.

redmagejoe

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #569 on: May 19, 2021, 09:15:59 pm »
If I recall, the flee chance is based purely upon evasion chance of the character attempting to run, with no input from the monster whatsoever. That said, if you CANNOT run, neither can the monsters. What is the encounter, if I may ask? It's not Iron Giant, is it? That was made inescapable in Restored only. Still feels silly that he can run away in Bug Fix only, but I agree with abw's logic for not changing it. Liberties are a slippery slope.

Chicken Knife

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #570 on: May 19, 2021, 10:39:43 pm »
The encounter is 1 MythGolem and 2 DethRiders. I'm pretty sure that this was just a regular encounter.

My anecdotal experience from this play through is that fleeing is not a random thing driven by evasion. There seems to be a massive difference in whether I can run from easier enemies vs more difficult ones.

There is a possibility that the chance is based on some kind of RNG pattern that becomes impossible to alter in the course of a battle. But I recall numerous battles where I'd have each of my characters attempt to run for 3-4 rounds in a row and no one would succeed, which is very odd since the very first character attempting is able to flee from most battles. And those ones where I cannot flee are standard encounters, not special ones.

redmagejoe

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #571 on: May 19, 2021, 10:59:20 pm »
Oh, that I can explain. For whatever reason, some encounters are straight-up flagged as inescapable. Arbitrarily. That specific enemy formation is inescapable. I don't recall if it's specific enemies (Death Riders or the Golem, I can't remember) or what, but you either CAN run from a battle, and it's RNG based on that character's Evasion chance, or it's just inescapable.

Believe me, I had that exact same thought process during my playthrough while running into some fights. I cannot for the life of me discern any rhyme or reason behind some of the normal enemy encounters that are flagged as inescapable. I'd have to ask abw about where the enemy data tables are, and if inescapable flag is set per monster or per formation. We could probably get a comprehensive list for you of what you can and can't run from, but I can tell you that one you're stuck in is absolutely inescapable.

I'm pretty sure the 4 elemental dragon enemies can't be run from, but I feel like one of them had an exception to that.

EDIT: I found a really old resource. It appears to be formation based. You'll have to translate the page and scroll down to the bottom to click on links to the specific locations in the game, but here you go:
http://surume5.han-be.com/Home/FF2/encounter/index.htm
« Last Edit: May 19, 2021, 11:09:08 pm by redmagejoe »

ScarabEnigma

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #572 on: May 19, 2021, 11:21:37 pm »
I don't know about enemy table locations, but what i do know is specific enemy does not dictate inescapability, it is formation based much like other entries in the series. I do not know exactly how the formation bytes work unfortunately, but what I do know is a lot of enemy formations, especially ones that reuse boss encounters, are generally inescapable, given formations exist as 128 total but two variants each it seems, with differing purposes of use, though the 'formation 2's that are attached to enemies with unique tile moulds (behemoths, dragons, end game chest monsters, final boss), don't use their formation 2s, instead the reshows of those enemies later are just outright reuses of their chest encounters, thus just as inescapable to prevent you from running away with the treasure without effort.

Chicken Knife

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #573 on: May 20, 2021, 03:07:51 pm »
I'm not sure how consistent these escape blocks are because there was at least one chest monster that I ran away from and got the treasure.  :laugh:

This whole system is kind of a mess unfortunately. Achieving a different way to block running from chest encounters (or even better, letting you run but not get the chest item and leave the chest unopened) is another nice thing to add to the backlogged list of improvement ideas.

abw

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #574 on: May 20, 2021, 09:41:30 pm »
Ultima is a very interesting case meanwhile, by maxing out every weapon skill and spell in inventory, it ignores m def outright and even if equipping penalty inducing gear, still does same damage amount.
In that case, it seems making Ultima unresistable matches up with the PSP version pretty well. It's interesting that Ultima is not affected by equipment penalties; that's something we could work in to the NES version fairly easily.

However, there is another catch, during gameplay, i discovered ultima has a very small chance of doing critical hit, if that occurs, it deals twice as much damage as normal, thus 18.6k st (seen as 9999 in game), or 4.6ks AoE (likely only gonna be seen affecting one target, very rare sight)
In the NES version, critical hits are a 5% chance for inflicting extra unresistable damage equal to the hit's base damage, but they're calculated for each hit of an attack, not the total attack damage, so the bonus damage from critical hits tends to get drowned out by RNG variability once you start getting higher numbers of hits.

It is possible to do more than 9999 dmg in a single hit, I tested battle vs emperor with max buffed blood sword and though it hit 9999 as seen on screen, two flare casts doing 2ks each when emperor hp is 15000, did in the remaining hp.

Edit: I tested proc'ing ultima's critical hit on the emperor and sure enough, it was a one hit kill XD.
:D. You can also do more than 9999 damage in the NES version, but the damage display was a bit buggy, so one of the things we did here was to make 5-digit damage display work.

Eventually, I'll summon up the energy to revert back to the last battery save and redo my progress.
This is probably the more respectable option, but depending on how long ago your last battery save was, another option is RAM hacking. https://datacrystal.romhacking.net/wiki/Final_Fantasy_II:RAM_map has a list of useful offsets; you may be particularly interested in $7D84 and friends.

I'd have to ask abw about where the enemy data tables are, and if inescapable flag is set per monster or per formation.
Formation data starts at $0B:$8620, and the bit that controls whether fleeing is possible for that formation is the 5th bit of each formation's data. The code for a character trying to flee starts at $0C:$A869; fleeing is successful iff the character's evasion % is > a random number between 0 and 100.

This whole systemgame is kind of a mess unfortunately.
I fixed that typo for you :P.

ScarabEnigma

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #575 on: May 20, 2021, 11:59:23 pm »
In that case, it seems making Ultima unresistable matches up with the PSP version pretty well. It's interesting that Ultima is not affected by equipment penalties; that's something we could work in to the NES version fairly easily.
I coulda sworn from previous hacking self has done that it ignored penalties to begin with uniquely, cause I've altered ultima previously to use standard dmg formula and it still hits for same high power whether you have heavy armor or not.

In the NES version, critical hits are a 5% chance for inflicting extra unresistable damage equal to the hit's base damage, but they're calculated for each hit of an attack, not the total attack damage, so the bonus damage from critical hits tends to get drowned out by RNG variability once you start getting higher numbers of hits.
I don't recall magic being able to inflict criticals, thus my interest in this specific case. Also considering ultima's "critical hit" is flat out doubled damage (proven via lower level ultima critical hit, i.e. 4k dmg crits for 8k) and has a much smaller rate of proc'ing than weapons, its a much more unique case.

:D. You can also do more than 9999 damage in the NES version, but the damage display was a bit buggy, so one of the things we did here was to make 5-digit damage display work.
I'm well aware of that being the case in the nes version, was simply confirming it still worked in later ports, did a fair bit of own ff2 hack shenanigans previously and am well versed in what the damage potential is there.


Chicken Knife

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #576 on: May 30, 2021, 09:24:01 am »
After much delay, I did end up completing the FF2 Restored hack. Nothing terribly new to report; just some general observations and suggestions.

After reading the discussion around rebalancing all the enemies, I ultimately don't agree with that. You'd end up with something that feels like a fan version of the game rather than a fixed version of the original design. I have a few proposals that I think would balance the game enough without changing all the enemies.

It was mentioned previously that attack magic is underpowered in general. I agree with that generally, but I don't necessarily think single target magic magic needs to be boosted much, other than perhaps a small boost to Flare / Holy / Ultima. (I was disappointed that the latter still remained underwhelming after all the bug fixing.) Here's the most significant tweak I would do to attack magic: alter the way the damage reduces when multi targeting. Currently, it seems to multiply the single target figure by 1/5 or 1/6. This just feels pretty pathetic, whether it's you dishing out the damage or an enemy dealing it. In the final dungeon, it's kind of sad to have your party get hit by level 16 magic for 120 damage each, or have the Emperor cast Meteo on your party for 300 each. All the while, physical attacks to your party will easily do 1000 HP. My proposal would be making multi target hit for 1/2 the single target damage per later FFs. If I could multi target a big group of enemies with a spell that taps their weakness and wipe them all in one cast, it would make the effort going into developing a Black Mage feel a lot more worthwhile.

Well, Black Mages still had a lot of value as is--too much in fact, when it comes to Berserk. I'd tone the effect of that spell down. My characters shouldn't go from doing 500 damage to 2000 from a single cast. Temper in the bug fixed versions of FF1 felt a lot more moderate. I'd aim for something with Berserk that takes 500 output to 1000 on average.

Now, dual wielding. I'd take an old school D&D approach, where you lose a good amount of accuracy with both weapons, and / or make the second weapon contribute, but contribute weakly. I think the outcome of dual wielding should be something that nets higher damage than two-handing a weapon against low defense enemies, but nets lower damage than two-handing against a high defense enemy. This would obviously take some work, but I think it's the better route than just adding the full output of both weapons like FF3 did. I think that FF3 honestly plays better using shields on your melee guys, and could be improved by curbing the dual wielding substantially.

On to other topics, a small thing that could be improved is how your back row characters seem to lose their back row status after dying. I'm not certain if that's what caused it, but the two things seemed to go together.

Overall, the experience was great. Like I said before, it's the first time I played through the game without hating it. The inescapable encounter scenario really pissed me off, though, and I'd say it's the most substantial problem remaining.

Regardless of what can or can't be done in the future, you've done extraordinary work improving the black sheep of the classic FFs.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2021, 09:34:15 am by Chicken Knife »

ScarabEnigma

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #577 on: June 03, 2021, 08:42:13 pm »
After reading the discussion around rebalancing all the enemies, I ultimately don't agree with that. You'd end up with something that feels like a fan version of the game rather than a fixed version of the original design.

Imo, its really hard to tell the intentions of the original design, magic damage from enemies seem fit moreso for a hp cap of 999 than 9999, while physicals outright slaughter they who lack evade.

It was mentioned previously that attack magic is underpowered in general. I agree with that generally, but I don't necessarily think single target magic magic needs to be boosted much, other than perhaps a small boost to Flare / Holy / Ultima. (I was disappointed that the latter still remained underwhelming after all the bug fixing.) Here's the most significant tweak I would do to attack magic: alter the way the damage reduces when multi targeting. Currently, it seems to multiply the single target figure by 1/5 or 1/6. This just feels pretty pathetic, whether it's you dishing out the damage or an enemy dealing it. In the final dungeon, it's kind of sad to have your party get hit by level 16 magic for 120 damage each, or have the Emperor cast Meteo on your party for 300 each. All the while, physical attacks to your party will easily do 1000 HP. My proposal would be making multi target hit for 1/2 the single target damage per later FFs. If I could multi target a big group of enemies with a spell that taps their weakness and wipe them all in one cast, it would make the effort going into developing a Black Mage feel a lot more worthwhile.

The main reason enemy damage is pathetic in quality is they have absolutely no access to intelligence or spirit stats, and that you, unlike they, get very high magic defense levels which at best halve all magic damage, halved further if you resist the damaging element in addition. They also do not get better accuracy %s for spells which would enable a more consistent success of better damage, meanwhile status spells prove a bit of a problem until equipment that resists their elements come into play. And since item magic shares the same table space as enemy magic, its just as pathetic as the enemy cast versions, ultimately buffing any enemy spell will buff some item magic spell, and tweaking any spell player accessible will adjust enemies as well. There also exists three spells that ignore magic defense and element resistance. Quake (Quak), Tsunami (Wave), and Cyclone (Tnad), but their spell power is so low they can't do much


Well, Black Mages still had a lot of value as is--too much in fact, when it comes to Berserk. I'd tone the effect of that spell down. My characters shouldn't go from doing 500 damage to 2000 from a single cast. Temper in the bug fixed versions of FF1 felt a lot more moderate. I'd aim for something with Berserk that takes 500 output to 1000 on average.

its mainly a problem with the difference in execution. in ff1, temper raises attack by a fixed amount per cast but can be stacked, while berserk raises attack based on specific amount factored by intelligence stat per level, but repeat casts cannot stack, even more fun is psp version has bug where berserk boosts attack twice as much for weapon and shield compared to weapon and empty hand. There is also the factor of the attack stat cap, ff1's is 99, ff2's is 255, and berserk loses effectiveness when attack is closer to cap innately, meanwhile haste is a whole other problem, aura is worthless, and so on.

Now, dual wielding. I'd take an old school D&D approach, where you lose a good amount of accuracy with both weapons, and / or make the second weapon contribute, but contribute weakly. I think the outcome of dual wielding should be something that nets higher damage than two-handing a weapon against low defense enemies, but nets lower damage than two-handing against a high defense enemy. This would obviously take some work, but I think it's the better route than just adding the full output of both weapons like FF3 did. I think that FF3 honestly plays better using shields on your melee guys, and could be improved by curbing the dual wielding substantially.

Dual wielding does have penalties of sorts, attack bonus based on strength is halved compared to two hand, and offhand gets less attack bonus if used compared to mainhand.

Overall, the experience was great. Like I said before, it's the first time I played through the game without hating it. The inescapable encounter scenario really pissed me off, though, and I'd say it's the most substantial problem remaining.

I'm guessing evade level was insufficient, evade % was not higher than 70 (the evade % of the death riders), and you lacked effective fire magic to cast on the riders, as well as thunder magics on mythril golem.  :P

FF2 is overall not bad. It introduced a fair bit of staples to the series we cannot go without. It's mainly a gameplay style very experimental for its time and designed in a bit of a rush, thus a lack of proper playtesting to know how much issues it has, and the later ports aren't going to bother giving any changes to its unusual gameplay design. My only gripes is the lengthy process of leveling, evade mechanics, and enemy magic system. Leveling is quite a process especially when enemy ranks are capped at 7, and even though im well versed in the growth curve, it still takes a while, and i don't think it'd be easy to apply the same growth curve changes introduced in the gba port. As for evasion, its the most broken feature in the game, achieving evade lvl 8 and a 99% rate. Besides getting first turns every battle and high preemptive strike chance, not a single enemy can physically harm you at that point since none have more than 8 hits and their haste spells are garbage/underused. Finally, the enemy magic system. Besides its cruddy potency and the fact that you can achieve maximized reductions enemy cannot get. Enemies have very little mp values, the highest being 540 belonging to the final boss. One cast of sufficiently leveled osmose and their magic is gone, and if the prior evade bit is utilized, you already won the battle. Enemy hp and mp values are shared in the same index, its possible to give any enemy mp equal to their own max hp or even greater if you wanted to.

abw

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #578 on: June 04, 2021, 08:18:05 am »
I coulda sworn from previous hacking self has done that it ignored penalties to begin with uniquely, cause I've altered ultima previously to use standard dmg formula and it still hits for same high power whether you have heavy armor or not.
Equipment penalties affect the success rate of all magic cast by your party in battle, including Ultima, but do not affect spell power. The code for that is at $0C:$B551.

I'm well aware of that being the case in the nes version, was simply confirming it still worked in later ports, did a fair bit of own ff2 hack shenanigans previously and am well versed in what the damage potential is there.
Didn't mean to imply otherwise - sometimes I just like to toss out related info for other people's benefit :beer:.

After reading the discussion around rebalancing all the enemies, I ultimately don't agree with that. You'd end up with something that feels like a fan version of the game rather than a fixed version of the original design.
Yup, if a change like that ends up getting made, it would probably be in a separate rebalancing hack.

(I was disappointed that [Ultima] still remained underwhelming after all the bug fixing.)
On one of my playthroughs, I was getting around 1600 single-target damage from level 8 Ultima, which felt pretty strong compared to my physical attacks, especially against monsters with high physical defense. One thing to keep in mind that Ultima is white magic in this game, not black magic like in other games, so the spell would tend to produce less impressive results from a black mage.

Here's the most significant tweak I would do to attack magic: alter the way the damage reduces when multi targeting. Currently, it seems to multiply the single target figure by 1/5 or 1/6. This just feels pretty pathetic, whether it's you dishing out the damage or an enemy dealing it.
Multi-target damage reduction works out to around 3/16 of single target damage against targets with neither resistance nor weakness to the spell's element, which is indeed between 1/5 and 1/6 and does make multi-targetting a poor choice in many situations. The spell's success rate is reduced to 1/2 and its power is reduced to 1/4, and since the success rate accounts for 1/2 of the total damage, you get (1/2 + 1/2*1/2)*(1/4) = 3/16. Success rate does not affect targets with resistance or weakness to the spell's element (the success rate is forced to 0% or 100% respectively), so multi-targetting only reduces the spell's power and thus damage to 1/4 of the single target damage. Those success and power modifications apply to all spells (including Berserk :P), so it would take some extra work to only change damage-dealing spells, but I do like this idea.

Well, Black Mages still had a lot of value as is--too much in fact, when it comes to Berserk. I'd tone the effect of that spell down. My characters shouldn't go from doing 500 damage to 2000 from a single cast. Temper in the bug fixed versions of FF1 felt a lot more moderate. I'd aim for something with Berserk that takes 500 output to 1000 on average.
Probably Berserk should just use its base spell power of 5 instead of 5 + caster's int bonus. Protect is similarly overpowered, but in that case its base power is 0, so we'd also have to update that.

On to other topics, a small thing that could be improved is how your back row characters seem to lose their back row status after dying. I'm not certain if that's what caused it, but the two things seemed to go together.
Hmm, I don't think I've seen this before - can you provide more details? I do know that if all of your front row characters get killed, your back row characters are moved to the front row and stay there until you change them back, which makes sense depending on what you think would be physically happening if the battle were real.

The inescapable encounter scenario really pissed me off, though, and I'd say it's the most substantial problem remaining.
One of the items on the to-do list for Restored is to add a message at the start of inescapable battles so that at least you'll know you can't run from them.

Regardless of what can or can't be done in the future, you've done extraordinary work improving the black sheep of the classic FFs.
Yeah, it's not bad for what, half a year of free time, on-and-off between other things? I'd still like to do more, but I haven't the time :(.

And since item magic shares the same table space as enemy magic, its just as pathetic as the enemy cast versions, ultimately buffing any enemy spell will buff some item magic spell, and tweaking any spell player accessible will adjust enemies as well.
One of the things we did here was to add a new spell to the spell table for Holy lances to use, so adding monster-specific versions of player-castable spells would be fairly easy.

its mainly a problem with the difference in execution. in ff1, temper raises attack by a fixed amount per cast but can be stacked, while berserk raises attack based on specific amount factored by intelligence stat per level, but repeat casts cannot stack
Berserk stacks up to the cap of 255 in the NES version.

Besides getting first turns every battle and high preemptive strike chance, not a single enemy can physically harm you at that point since none have more than 8 hits and their haste spells are garbage/underused.
Both Generals and Iron Giants have more than 8 hits, at 9 and 12 respectively.

Enemies have very little mp values, the highest being 540 belonging to the final boss. One cast of sufficiently leveled osmose and their magic is gone, and if the prior evade bit is utilized, you already won the battle.
I did a playthrough with a solo pure mage a while ago, and with only 1 valid target for all physical attacks, I had 16-99 evasion well before the final dungeon, so I was effectively immune to even Iron Giants with their 12-100 accuracy; Osmose was quite effective at defanging any enemy capable of inflicting non-physical damage, including the endgame bosses.

Leviathan Mist

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Re: Final Fantasy II Restored
« Reply #579 on: June 06, 2021, 12:16:03 am »
As for evasion, its the most broken feature in the game, achieving evade lvl 8 and a 99% rate. Besides getting first turns every battle and high preemptive strike chance, not a single enemy can physically harm you at that point since none have more than 8 hits and their haste spells are garbage/underused.

This is the most accurate description of how broken this game is that I've read. Whenever I play, I live by the dual-shield strategy and it can get me through the entire game with little to no grinding. I would almost argue that shield-related evasion bonuses should be static and not multiplied by shield level. Perhaps an alternate bonus from shields could be calculated from its level, such as increased defense. A change like this would not go against the spirit of the original game, since it nerfs a cheap strategy that is almost certainly unintended by the developers, but still gives shields an added value. Besides, who can actually dodge better while holding a giant metal plate? I know evade is supposed to also include "blocking" of attacks, but really, evade is evade. Shields should definitely raise defense value and they don't. It also doesn't completely eliminate the ability to create parties with 16-99 evade invincibility, just makes it take way longer and require additional equipment considerations to achieve.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2021, 12:23:01 am by Leviathan Mist »