Spell Damage and Magic Defense/Evade [FF2]

#1Ramza1Posted 7/19/2013 9:17:36 PM
When it comes to status spells and weapon attacks, I think I have a pretty good grasp on how evasion works. But please correct me if I'm wrong:

It looks like you take the spells or weapon's base accuracy, add some kind of bonus based on intelligence, spirit, or strength, and then you get a number of castings/attacks that's roughly equal to your weapon or spell level.

Each casting attempts to inflict the status based on the new derived accuracy. If the status is harmful, then the target's evade is subtracted from the accuracy for each casting up to the targets magic defense level, so a magic defense of 5-25% would subtract 25% from the accuracy of the first five castings, but any subsequent castings would be unaffected by the evade.

As far as I can tell, additional defense levels beyond the level of the spell have no effect. So a magic defense of 5-25% and one of 10-25% are both equally effective against a spell level of 5.

Question 1: What I'm not sure about are damage spells. They always seem to hit, even against opponents with very high magic defense levels. I recall casting a level five damage spell against an enemy who had something like 10-99% magic defense and not only did it hit every time, but it did consistent damage. I would expect (if magic works the way I think) that an unpredictable number of my spell levels should "miss", resulting in less reliable damage. Do spells have evasion proof levels or something (for example, maybe every third casting is undodgeable)?

Question 2: Also, what's the deal with Barrier, Shell, and Wall. Some FAQs make it sound like they all do the same thing. Based on a few forum posts I've read, I get the impression that maybe Barrier works by granting elemental/status resistances (does that mean more successful castings equals more resistances, or is it all or nothing like some status effects?), while Wall and Shell each increase either magic evade% and magic defense level, but I don't know which is which. Also Blink, does it boost evasion level or evasion%, or both?

Question 3: Finally, does anybody have info on the base accuracy of spells? Sky Render's FAQ for the GBA version has base accuracy for status spells, but not damage spells. I also understand that spells have different base accuracies across versions and I can't find any info on spell accuracy for the PSX or NES versions (status or damage).

While I'm posting on the PSX forum (it looks the most active, and this is the version I'm currently playing), I am interested in all the same information as it applies to the GBA and NES versions as well (I'm trying to play all three in order to compare them). Also, if any of this kind of info is in a FAQ or something that I just missed, by all means point me to it.
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I'm not sure how, I'm not sure why, but I'm almost certain that you owe me money!
#2silktailPosted 7/20/2013 5:14:33 PM
Each casting attempts to inflict the status based on the new derived accuracy. If the status is harmful, then the target's evade is subtracted from the accuracy for each casting up to the targets magic defense level, so a magic defense of 5-25% would subtract 25% from the accuracy of the first five castings, but any subsequent castings would be unaffected by the evade.

A target's Magic Def level is basically the number of dodges they can attempt, with Magic Def% given the chance of each dodge succeeding.

You would then subtract the number of dodges from the number of hits.
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Question 1: What I'm not sure about are damage spells. They always seem to hit, even against opponents with very high magic defense levels. I recall casting a level five damage spell against an enemy who had something like 10-99% magic defense and not only did it hit every time, but it did consistent damage. I would expect (if magic works the way I think) that an unpredictable number of my spell levels should "miss", resulting in less reliable damage. Do spells have evasion proof levels or something (for example, maybe every third casting is undodgeable)?

Yes. Damage Spell have hits which a guaranteed (equal to the spell level) and hits which are chanced (equal to the spell level again).
.....

Question 2: Also, what's the deal with Barrier, Shell, and Wall. Some FAQs make it sound like they all do the same thing. Based on a few forum posts I've read, I get the impression that maybe Barrier works by granting elemental/status resistances (does that mean more successful castings equals more resistances, or is it all or nothing like some status effects?), while Wall and Shell each increase either magic evade% and magic defense level, but I don't know which is which. Also Blink, does it boost evasion level or evasion%, or both?

Each successful level of Barrier does add a different resistance. (Unfortunately it doesn't stack and subsequent castings may only reapply the same resistances.)

Blink increases Evasion level. Shell increases Magic Def. level.

Wall should be blocking low level Black magic. (The more successes Wall had, the higher level spell it will block.)
......

Question 3: Finally, does anybody have info on the base accuracy of spells? Sky Render's FAQ for the GBA version has base accuracy for status spells, but not damage spells. I also understand that spells have different base accuracies across versions and I can't find any info on spell accuracy for the PSX or NES versions (status or damage).

Normal damage spells have a base accuracy of 0.

(With Cure & Ultima as non-normal damage spells. Both have 50% base accuracy.)
......

Also, if any of this kind of info is in a FAQ or something that I just missed, by all means point me to it.

There aren't many good guides for FF2, so I never no what to recommend.

Although this site has some fairly decent information I guess:
http://guides.gamercorner.net/ffii/

(See that site for a NES spell's base accuracy.)
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#3Ramza1(Topic Creator)Posted 7/20/2013 9:08:30 PM
Thanks a bunch! That pretty much answers everything.
That website is a great resource for FFII NES *bookmarks*, and I'm hoping that the PSX version follows the same trend as FFI by fixing bugs but making very few changes otherwise.

Yes. Damage Spell have hits which a guaranteed (equal to the spell level) and hits which are chanced (equal to the spell level again).

So a level 16 fire spell actually has potential to get 32 hits? 16 guaranteed hits and an additional 16 hits that have an accuracy based on caster intelligence and target Magic Evade%.

So 16 fire against my hypothetical 10-99% target, with my caster at 99 intelligence, would probably get around 24 hits.

A target's Magic Def level is basically the number of dodges they can attempt, with Magic Def% given the chance of each dodge succeeding.

You would then subtract the number of dodges from the number of hits.

Ah, that changes things slightly. I was assuming that an accuracy of 5-50% and an evade of 5-50% would would cancel each other out. But you're saying that the game calculates the number of hits and the number of dodges separately and then subtracts the dodges from the hits. So 5-50% VS 5-50% scenario would still have some chance of success, depending on the random numbers generated, which I guess is a little more fair.

In case you couldn't tell, I'm one of those people who really prefers when RPGs are transparent about their game mechanics. The programmers would have known about all of this information, so why not put in the manual?
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I'm not sure how, I'm not sure why, but I'm almost certain that you owe me money!
#4Storm ShadowPosted 7/20/2013 9:30:32 PM
It's something players were supposed to figure out on their own. This was a time before most games completely laid out everything about themselves in the manuals.
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Don't make promises when you're happy, and don't make decisions when you're angry.
#5Ramza1(Topic Creator)Posted 7/20/2013 9:58:38 PM
Storm Shadow posted...
It's something players were supposed to figure out on their own. This was a time before most games completely laid out everything about themselves in the manuals.

Here's the thing, most games (modern games included) don't lay out everything in the manuals. I was playing Fallout 3 the other day and the manual's description for the Energy Weapons skill is: "Increases the effectivity of energy weapons such as... (etc.)"
Effectivity? That could mean damage, that could mean VATS accuracy, that could mean normal accuracy. If it means damage, does that mean it applies a bonus to the base damage as the skill gets higher? A penalty to base damage as the skill gets lower? Do different weapons get different bonuses?

I can totally appreciate the attitude of figuring things out on your own, but in many cases, game mechanics aren't revealed until some player hacks the game's code. I really don't think the designers intend for the player to hack the code, which means that they wanted that mechanic to remain unknown.

Now, I'm only speaking for myself here (different people have fun doing different things, obviously). But I would prefer if the game gave me all the numbers and mechanics and then left me alone to use that information to decide how I want to play. Maybe that makes me unusual, but that kind of thinking is just more fun for me and games become more fun for me when I can employ that kind of thinking.
That's actually one of the things I like better about older games, since the gaming community has had more time to pool their knowledge about how the game works. I've even contributed to that knowledge on some occasions.

I suppose there might be a happy medium and a game could go too far in either direction. Imagine an RPG that didn't even show you character stats, levels, exp, or classes/proficiencies and makes you rely on pure trial and error to figure out who should use which weapons/spells or what kinds of behaviors made characters stronger or weaker and in what ways (you wouldn't even know if fighting some monsters made you level down unless you took copious notes). Likewise, a game that shows the entire damage equation with all possible variables every single time you so much as highlight a spell at the shop would also get pretty annoying.
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I'm not sure how, I'm not sure why, but I'm almost certain that you owe me money!
#6beege_manPosted 7/21/2013 1:20:25 PM
I'm definitely in the camp that prefers as much knowledge about the mechanics and forumulas as possible as well. I love strategizing on the math of it and finding the most efficient use of things.
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298/298 9/7/6/6/5/5/4/2 H8 Pu2 Pa1 E1 Int/MDef: 35/70
HDCEA: 70/38/3/78/17 Resist: Fire/Lit AtkElem: Lit
#7Storm ShadowPosted 7/21/2013 9:01:04 PM
Heh. I don't really like that, myself, but part of that comes from metaphorically kicking min/maxers in the groin for years in AD&D. I freaking hate that crap.
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Don't make promises when you're happy, and don't make decisions when you're angry.
#8Ramza1(Topic Creator)Posted 7/21/2013 9:13:10 PM
Storm Shadow posted...
Heh. I don't really like that, myself, but part of that comes from metaphorically kicking min/maxers in the groin for years in AD&D. I freaking hate that crap.

For me it's about choices. For example, in the GBA version of FFII, Teleport is a WAY overpowered instant death spell, especially relative to how early you can get it. Using that kind of information, I can better decide just how much challenge I want in a given playthrough. Or in a game like FFI, I can impose certain limitations on myself (four black mages, for example) and then figure out the most effective way to play within those limitation.
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I'm not sure how, I'm not sure why, but I'm almost certain that you owe me money!
#9silktailPosted 7/23/2013 6:06:15 PM
Ramza1 posted...
So a level 16 fire spell actually has potential to get 32 hits? 16 guaranteed hits and an additional 16 hits that have an accuracy based on caster intelligence and target Magic Evade%.

So 16 fire against my hypothetical 10-99% target, with my caster at 99 intelligence, would probably get around 24 hits.

Yes... except 32-10 = 22 ;)
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#10Ramza1(Topic Creator)Posted 7/24/2013 5:09:07 AM
silktail posted...
Yes... except 32-10 = 22 ;)

*Atomic Facepalm*
I'm, a... I'm an English Major... Yeah, that sounds like a good excuse.

Oh well, derp derp.
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I'm not sure how, I'm not sure why, but I'm almost certain that you owe me money!