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Rating FFIX (SPOILERS NATURALLY AHOY)

#41DeusMortemPosted 7/15/2013 2:01:24 PM
Honestly, IV was a big disappointment to me. [...]

Agree with you on almost everything. IV is far too rigid ability wise -- which is why the DS version is awesome (it gives you the ability to customize the characters with augments: skills from temporary members).
Also, the DS version presents the best challenge in the series so far.

V ... yeah, I love the job system! Its story and characters (except for Gilgamesh, of course) suck big time, though.

VII has wonderful story and atmosphere but suffers from lack of challenge, overpowered materia and lack of uniqueness in terms of fighting abilities (apart form limit breaks, but that hardly suffices on its own).

III is a great game -- not many complaints there. (No character development, duh, but I don't really think that applies seeing as they are all just "onion kids [or was it warriors?]")

VI, is great in many regards, but poorly balanced. No reason to use most character's unique abilities towards the later parts of the game as there are much more powerful stuff to use (multiple Ultimas in one turn coupled with Economizer and Genji Glove+ Offering or whatever the combo was for like eight attacks in a row).

As for the issue of damage cap, of course it is moronic. It's a lazy-ass way to avoid broken stuff. Seeing 9999 from a simple sword slash just to the next moment fire off the longest and most bombastic summon animation in the game and reach the same digits is nothing less than esthetically disgusting. Now, I am not advocating skyrocketing digits, mind you; on the contrary: Seeing 99999 all the time in FFX was the same thing -- only even more distasteful. Nah, they should remove damage cap and make sure no attack is broken instead. And if they are lazy as ****, at least use a damage cap that normal attacks end-game don't reach.

Incidentally, the whole super high digits obsession in modern RPGs is repulsive. Seeing nine million damage covering the screen from a simple sword slash makes me want to vomit. Less is more.

Incidentally, the last RPG I played apart from DS IV was Star Ocean 4. Ugh, that game is a prime example of what is wrong with today's RPGs (Bacchus owns, though).
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I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space -- were it not that I have bad dreams ...
#42KuroAlchemistPosted 7/15/2013 2:06:33 PM
Well we are getting a bit off-topic but I'll try to answer, sorry if it disturbs anyone.


There aren't many multi-hit moves in the game, and starting at around disk 3 the bosses start getting enough health to take two or three 9999 hits at least. I mean, what exactly would've been better than having this cap? 6- or 7-hit moves? "break damage limit" abilities and the like? With those options, the game would be totally unbalanced, and it's already easy enough to spam those 9999 moves as it is.

I don't really understand why it'd make the game unbalanced.
Sure it'd work against Quina.... but that only means Quina would need a power-up.
If it's about the monsters's HP, then you simply have to increase their HP.


The casual player probably wouldn't ever even see that much damage from one of their attacks, it really isnt like the game hands them to you.

As easy it is to reach 9999, this statement is correct. I think the best answer to make this part of the game better is to provide a Hard mode. Something that doubles monster's HP and slightly increase their attack would be nice.


Scaling the HP to match those ridiculously over-the-top moves would only make this game less balanced than it already is, and that's silly.

Well, I don't really know what you are talking about over-the-top (as proven in my previous post, reaching the cap is a pretty easy job).
Here is a demonstration why the cap makes no sense with the current mechanics.

Steiner lvl 40 has about 50 strenght. Excalibur has 77 attack power.
His physical should hit around 3600-4100.
Killer ability raises damage by 50% : 5400-6150
Hitting a weakness raises damage by 50% : up to 9000 already
With MP attack you reach 9999 easily.

But let's still count ;)
I'll start over considering the average damage to be 4000
Killer : 6000
Elemental Weakness : 9000
MP attack : 13,500
Elemental boosting equip : 20,250
Berserk : 30,000
Target under Mini : 45,000
Critical strike : 90,000

As you can see we wasted 90% of the damage on the cap. If you find my example is a bit too much : I didn't include the fact that Steiner's Trance makes his attack three times as powerful so actually the true max damage output is over 200,000. And you can still factor Might in.
And this is a NORMAL ATTACK. If I were to make the calculation with Zidane's trance, the wasted damage would be also very high.

The damage cap MAKES (and you can't contradict this fact) all those boost worthless.
Playing a defensive Summoner (for Berserk/Mini/Might usage) is useless, and with Auto-Regen, Summoner becomes only magical damage dealer. Increasing the damage cap would allow you to think more about what you are doing and makes the Summoner class more unique.

Because as I kinda mentioned before, nobody just hits the damage cap as you naturally play the game. You level grind, chocograph grind, grind to learn auto-reflect on everybody, or grind thievery/frog drop. None of those are appealing options to casuals. None of those make the game much easier than it already is because if you're going out of your way to do that, you're probably already OP.


As I said Thievery and Frog Drop are out of the picture for various reasons.
People don't reach the damage cap for one main reason : The game is too easy and don't require you to think about what to do to maximize your damage potential.
Who seriously used Berserk + Might to makes his physical attackers stronger ? I do but I'm pretty sure I'm an exception.
Getting Auto-Reflect is a waste of time when Eiko can put everyone under Reflect.

I didn't wanted to talk about summon but please consider Atomos. He can reach 9999 with almost no farming at all.


To conclude, the game gives us so many opportunity battle-wise... but they are wasted on the cap.
#43DeusMortemPosted 7/16/2013 12:00:36 AM
Yeah. damage cap makes no sense from a logical perspective and is heavily detrimental to the depth of the game. Arguing about that is pointless.
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I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space -- were it not that I have bad dreams ...
#44doubtkiller25Posted 7/20/2013 4:22:07 PM
Bah, has it been too long for me to reply to this? screw it:

Yeah, I see what you're saying. When I made that post, I was thinking about the scaling, though. If you removed the damage cap, as a game designer you would simply scale the monsters' health to match the range of damage, right? I just don't understand what this does to make the game more fun, balanced, or interesting. I can understand how the damage cap itself is aesthetically unappealing, but what's the difference between 9999 damage attacks against a monster with 60000 health and 90000 damage attacks against a monster with 600000 health? If it's just a matter of applying more buffs to your character to reach higher and higher damage, that just adds another step to the easy-cheasy boss smackdowns, doesn't it? You have to take a couple turns to set up and *then* whoop the beastie into next year: is that more fun or balanced than the current system with the damage cap? The over-the-top attacks I was referring to would be the theoretical attacks without damage limits. Your numerical example definitely made me re-examine my position, because you're right that the damage cap cuts off everything that comes after the cap, but without anything to use that extra damage on, and with the amount of preparation and situationality of your example, it seems a little silly. The damage cap might make those boosts worthless, but I'd say the boosts are worthless for a dozen other reasons too: lack of bosses with higher health, and lack of challenging bosses to begin with, especially. Why pick on the damage cap when it's not the culprit for the game's strategic limitations, and wouldn't serve to improve anything with its removal alone? Did I misunderstand your point or should I reread your post a couple more times, because I'm probably missing something

And as far as the aesthetic goes, I find it aesthetically appealing to hit that 9999 cap with an attack. That's just a matter of taste :P

Oh, and you're right about Atomos. I forgot about Atomos
#45random_singer(Topic Creator)Posted 7/20/2013 8:21:07 PM
DeusMortem posted...

VI, is great in many regards, but poorly balanced. No reason to use most character's unique abilities towards the later parts of the game as there are much more powerful stuff to use (multiple Ultimas in one turn coupled with Economizer and Genji Glove+ Offering or whatever the combo was for like eight attacks in a row).


Slight gripe here. Yes, it does get unbalanced endgame, but only if you deliberately go after all that end game equipment (which is by no means necessary.) The average player, completing all the bonus quests, will only get one Offering and one Soul of Thamasa (two spells per turn). They will likely miss Economisers completely -to be fair, MP at that stage of the game is not very important, so other Relics such as the ribbon are actually better choices. So they likely both have to be shared.

And the characters do fill a unique niche, even endgame. For instance, I found the best Offering users to be Locke & Setzer (Sabin is better off using Phantom Rush most of the time, especially if he has been developed magically as he should be, and Cyan can have fun abusing Quick with his bushido skills, Edgar and Mog have the option of turning into dragon horn dragoons.) Locke, with his Valiant Knife is distinctly different to use than Setzer with his Fixed Dice. Fixed consisent damage, vs random but potentially very high damage. Likewise a dragon horn dragoon Mog is completely different to play with (due to the Snow Scarf's insane defence) than a dragon horn dragoon Edgar (who possesses a tool that can kill an enemy in the final sequence of battles in one shot)

Aww, I've ended up talking about FF VI on another FF games board again. This seems to happen too often D:
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Yes, the twelve legendary weapons. They are weapons. They are legendary. There are even twelve of them.
#46KuroAlchemistPosted 7/22/2013 6:39:41 AM
If you removed the damage cap, as a game designer you would simply scale the monsters' health to match the range of damage, right? I just don't understand what this does to make the game more fun, balanced, or interesting. I can understand how the damage cap itself is aesthetically unappealing, but what's the difference between 9999 damage attacks against a monster with 60000 health and 90000 damage attacks against a monster with 600000 health?


There is no difference.
Pushing the cap back won't make the game more fun/interesting in itself, I just think that the current damage calculation ( = (Atk Power - Defense) * Str/Mag)) has a nice-looking formula and I'd rather increase the max damage than reduce the damage dealt by messing around with the damage calculation. Of course, it's only my opinion and both options'd work just fine.
I only talked about the former in order to not change the current damage calculation (messing with damage calculation is the best way to make a pretty balanced game completely unbalanced).


If it's just a matter of applying more buffs to your character to reach higher and higher damage, that just adds another step to the easy-cheasy boss smackdowns, doesn't it? You have to take a couple turns to set up and *then* whoop the beastie into next year: is that more fun or balanced than the current system with the damage cap?


Can't really tell about more balanced (IMO Might and Stock are balanced, and Berserk has a downside to it, some Trance (Zidane & Steiner) would actually be more balanced.... but it's pretty hard to give a definite answer).... and more fun is all about personal taste (people who wants to use 3-4 different attacks for the whole battle vs people who find more fun in spending turn buffing and switching roles (defensive Eiko at the beginning of a fight then full summon))...

However, one thing that isn't subjective is the fact that removing the damage cap (or reducing the damage done) would allow you to have more unique characters (to answer the "why ?", refers to my last post) and add depth to the fights.


The over-the-top attacks I was referring to would be the theoretical attacks without damage limits.

Oh sorry, didn't understand that.... but if you read my post, I'm not actually talking about no damage limit at all (that'd make the game unbalanced cuz summons (minus Atomos who would be overpowered) would suck badly ^^)
I talked about a 30 000 damage limit (value as an example, the "perfect" damage cap would need some testing) that'd require a passive to reach.



Your numerical example definitely made me re-examine my position, because you're right that the damage cap cuts off everything that comes after the cap, but without anything to use that extra damage on, and with the amount of preparation and situationality of your example, it seems a little silly.

It would have been silly if my damage were something like 50,000. True enough Berserk is not desirable against stronger bosses, Elemental attack not available everytime and Elemental boost may require you to equip bad armors (I also didn't included back-attack cuz it's a one time only boost).... however I'm above twice this amount, even getting rid of some boosts, I'd still reach the 9999 cap.

....continued in next post
#47KuroAlchemistPosted 7/22/2013 7:09:34 AM
(when I talk about a 30,000 cap in the post, you can also consider that the cap is still 9999, but damage done normally is divided by 3)


lack of bosses with higher health, and lack of challenging bosses to begin with, especially. Why pick on the damage cap when it's not the culprit for the game's strategic limitations, and wouldn't serve to improve anything with its removal alone?

Well, let's give an example to why increasing the damage cap would increasing battle depth AND make the game harder.

Current Cap : 9999
Boss HP : 55 000
Boss has Wind-weakness, 10 defense.
Amarant lvl 40 with 45 strength.
Using the Kaiser Knuckles (atk : 75)

Lowest damage by physical is around 3000.
But hitting a weakness make it go up to 4500.
Killer : 6750
Wind-elemental boost : 9999
Unless the boss has especially strong attack (which basically means Ozma or Necron) Amarant can simply use "Attack" all his turns. With the correct set-up, you can play the battle "brainless"

Amarant solo can down the boss in 6 attacks.
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New Cap : 30,000
Boss HP : 132 000 (* 2.4) the HP increase is less than the max damage increase
Boss has Wind-weakness, 10 defense.
Amarant is the same.

Lowest damage is still 3000.
However, by preparing himself beforehand Amarant can only reach 10,000 damage
The boss would require 14 attacks.
So, Eiko has to spends some turn to increase the strenght of Amarant (with Might).
Thus the boss fight is longer and the boss has more opportunity to use his stronger attacks.
While waiting to reach a better damage ouput Amarant can use Throw or Aura.
Using Berserk allows Amarant to reach 15,000 damage. It'd require 9 attacks (still more than previously).
Even if Amarant reaches 30,000 (down in 5 strikes), Eiko would have spend multiple turns (turns where she can't heal) and Amarant would be not controllable (under Berserk).

With....
New Cap : 30,000
Boss HP : 120 000 (* 2.1818---...)

It'd require 4 attacks to bring the boss down. But in order to reach the 30,000 cap, Eiko would need to use 3 might + Berserk. So in fact, you'd be better off to not boost Amarant too much and uses Eiko as a secondary damage dealer before Amarant can reach the cap.



Please also consider that my example are with lvl 40 characters which haven't gone thru Stat maxing. So, while it may looks pretty impressive, it's in fact turned toward casual gamer (unlike FF6 Atma Weapon + 4 strike, which only works well when your level is above 60 and with an accessory that actually require a guide to obtain (well at least I needed a guide to get it, while I never needed a guide to reach 9999 in FF9))
A level 99 Amarant would reach the 30,000 without Might so it'd also make leveling up more useful ;)

If you consider that I hadn't really answered the fact that current bosses aren't strong enough, don't forget my proposal a few posts above : a Hard difficulty setting.


Sorry about the many typos (didn't reread thoroughly and I'm no native speaker). ^^
#48mega1343Posted 7/23/2013 4:23:49 AM
My 3 favorite Final Fantasy games are

1. 9
2. 7
3. 6
*Honorable Mention*
4. FF4

In that order.
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SamG528
#49random_singer(Topic Creator)Posted 7/23/2013 7:27:32 AM
KuroAlchemist posted...


New Cap : 30,000
Boss HP : 132 000 (* 2.4) the HP increase is less than the max damage increase
Boss has Wind-weakness, 10 defense.
Amarant is the same.


Except, this HP that you need to add can be seen as a problem. By removing the damage cap, you are effectively forced to add HP to the boss to balance it out. But the problem is that this makes the game far more difficult for the first time player.

First off, with your Amarant example, there is no guarantee the player has indeed set up Amarant to take on the boss optimally. The Kaiser Knuckles may be missed, the player might not realise the boss has a wind weakness and its likely the player will not know which 'killer' ability to use or indeed whether the boss is vulnerable to any of them. Now, this is ok, the current HP of the bosses accounts for this. On average then, the first time player will take decidedly more than 6 turns to solo the boss. Lets say they take 12 turns instead to destroy the boss.

The problem is, when you increase the HP of the boss, you make things more difficult by forcing the party to live through yet more attacks. On the ideally set up Amarant on Boss (mach II), this is 14 turns. However, on the less ideally set up Amarant this is now up to 26 turns, which should be more than enough time for the boss to kill you (theoretically of course, in reality auto-regen has a lot to answer for)

Sure the first time player can boost his damage as well, but he is far less likely to, and more likely to be killed in doing so. And any boosts that he does manage will be less effective due to his inferior starting set up.

So the upside is that by removing the damage cap or making the damage cap higher, you are going to be faced with walking a tightrope between making the game too difficult for first timers without using a walkthrough, and no challenge at all for vets.
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Yes, the twelve legendary weapons. They are weapons. They are legendary. There are even twelve of them.
#50KuroAlchemistPosted 7/24/2013 2:08:02 AM
random_singer posted...

Except, this HP that you need to add can be seen as a problem. By removing the damage cap, you are effectively forced to add HP to the boss to balance it out. But the problem is that this makes the game far more difficult for the first time player.

First off, with your Amarant example, there is no guarantee the player has indeed set up Amarant to take on the boss optimally. The Kaiser Knuckles may be missed, the player might not realise the boss has a wind weakness and its likely the player will not know which 'killer' ability to use or indeed whether the boss is vulnerable to any of them. Now, this is ok, the current HP of the bosses accounts for this. On average then, the first time player will take decidedly more than 6 turns to solo the boss. Lets say they take 12 turns instead to destroy the boss.


I already talked about this point before : "The game is too easy to make you think", thus your argument doesn't have that much value cuz I can always take it backward : "The player who know the game are bored to death cuz it's so easy" (thanks god we have the ExII to make us occupied :P )
Don't it feel better to actually have to save before a boss, have to try it 2 or 3 times in order to find the correct strategy and then, finally, defeating it ?
When I think of FF4, I remember the last battle cuz it was epic and hard.... not the battle against the octopus (don't even remember its name) nor the Antlion

Let's consider FF5, he isn't considered hard but I find it pretty hard myself cuz some boss needs to be killed with particular means (bosses immune to physical/magical, bosses reviving the others, bosses using very strong attacks). You'll have to restart a few time, but when you find the good strategy you can mop the floor with them

And, if you think it's better to have an easier game, I also answered this argument by telling the game could have a Normal and a Difficult/Hard/Expert mode.


The problem is, when you increase the HP of the boss, you make things more difficult by forcing the party to live through yet more attacks.


Making the game more difficult is exactly the point ^^


Sure the first time player can boost his damage as well, but he is far less likely to, and more likely to be killed in doing so. And any boosts that he does manage will be less effective due to his inferior starting set up.

First, about the damage I showned consider 2 things :
-I didn't used MP Attack, so anyone can equip this ability and reach the same damage even if he don't have any wind-boosting weapon.
-I'm showing a lvl 40 character against a very strong monster, reaching lvl 60 to defeat it wouldn't put anyone to shame

Then, let's make a comparison between this game and FF12-13
In FF12, you are forced to use Berserk + Bravery + Haste and (end-game or for stronger mark) you are forced to have a Tank character.
People complains about Gambit system but they actually consist of 12 conditions... in FF9 (with the exception of Eiko and Quina), my characters use something like 2-3 differents attacks per boss fight.
In FF13, while you can always take the easy way out by having a Tank and a Healer in all paradigm, if you want to make an efficient fight (I laughed hard when I saw that some people actually died from Doom against Bart... it means over 22 minutes of fight, I had a friggin hard time on my first-game but killed it in something like 6 minutes) you have to meddle with your accessory or use a shroud, you have to use buff AND debuff, you have to delay healing to the last possible moment, etc....

Well, I guess even difficulty is a matter of taste... ^^