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The Editor => Golden Sun Hacking => Topic started by: Fionordequester on September 04, 2017, 02:04:57 AM



Title: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 04, 2017, 02:04:57 AM
So since I've been on a Golden Sun kick this last month or so, I've decided to give this rebalancing hack a try.  Caledor wishes to make a game where unleashes and summons aren't the be-all, end-all strategies they always were in the main game; and we're going to see how well it accomplishes that!  As such, I'll be judging it on two things...

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1) Does it change the way I play the game?

2) Does it have a good difficulty curve (not too tough, not too easy)?
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While doing this, I will be posting videos of me fighting bosses and random encounters in order to show evidence for my points.  So let's get this started!


Title: Golden Sun Reloaded - Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 04, 2017, 02:07:39 AM
So here's my first video, right now!  Isaac and Garet were LVL 2, and Ivan was LVL 4.  My purchases so far were...

Isaac: Open Helm (+10 Defense)
Garet: Open Helm (+11 Defense)

And the time it took me to kill the boss with both strats was...

(With Brute Force): ~1 minute and 56 seconds

(With Delude):
~3 minutes and 16 seconds

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Basic summary: I liked the fact that I had to buy equipment to help Isaac and Garet survive...but I'm worried about what I'm seeing in regards to debuffs.  Golden Sun is a series that is ruled by burst damage, to the point where even Dullahan essentially amounts to a slightly more complicated summon rush.  Debuffs have pretty much always been slower AND less effective than just brute force; and I'm worried this hack may fall into the same trap.

Long Summary: I tried a strategy that used Delude, and one that used brute force; and the brute force method won out.  This is because giving Ivan the Seer class, it...

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1) Lessened his DPS by giving him Whirlwind instead of Bolt Ray

2) Made it so that Garet couldn't use Venus and Flint (which themselves did a lot of damage)

3) Didn't accomplish much with Delude.  The Bandit bypasses the accuracy check completely when using Slice, and that's the most dangerous move he has.  

4) Gave the Thieves and their boss more time to spam Herbs on each other; which dragged out the fight
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Golden Sun, as well as most RPGs besides Dragon Quest, are ruled by burst damage.  Random encounters are fragile enough that it's usually more efficient AND more effective to just bum rush them; and bosses tend to be immune to any status ailments you care about.  As a result, there's no incentive to use debuffs in any RPG you play besides Dragon Quest, which generally makes it so that raw offense isn't the way to go.

This boss here was a very unique one in this regards; it was the only one I saw that was both vulnerable to status ailments AND had enough HP to where status ailments would actually help in the long run.  I felt that if there was any place where I might've wanted to take a more tactical approach instead of doing what I usually do, that this would be it.  However, Delude wasn't effective enough to be worth the hassle.

So I would like Delude to be buffed in some way.  Maybe make it like Dragon Quest, where it's accuracy is the same across ALL enemies?  Make it so that it's GUARANTEED to last a while (again like Dragon Quest)?  Maybe cut the enemy's accuracy down to 5% instead of 30%?  I don't know what the best way to buff it is; but it needs it.  

Physical attacks are only a tiny fraction of the attacks that the player will face; so I'm thinking that Delude needs to be PRE-TTY darn good at blocking what little it CAN block.  Otherwise, there's no reason to bother with it.

Thanks for reading, and God bless you  :happy: !


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 04, 2017, 08:19:21 PM
Caledor asked me to write down my full thoughts in addition to posting them on the videos; so I just greatly expanded the first Bandit post.  Hope this helps  :happy: !


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Awec on September 04, 2017, 08:29:46 PM
I think this is too early in the game to be analyzing it to be honest.
In my run, I found burst damage quickly became less feasible and I had to rely on Paralyze a lot, and use debuffs extensively against bosses. It was tough.
Delude probably could afford a buff though.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Caledor on September 04, 2017, 09:04:54 PM
This is not really surprising cause i haven't done anything yet in order to improve delude from the player's POV, mainly because anything I decide to do at this point would require a pretty big code change. The first thing that comes to mind is to make Delude similar to Seal (it would disable EPAs).


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 04, 2017, 10:27:19 PM
This is not really surprising cause i haven't done anything yet in order to improve delude from the player's POV, mainly because anything I decide to do at this point would require a pretty big code change. The first thing that comes to mind is to make Delude similar to Seal (it would disable EPAs).

That'd probably be the ideal option; no idea how viable that is, though, since I never learned hacking.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: JamietheFlameUser on September 04, 2017, 10:44:47 PM
The code change that would be necessary to make Delude viable is a pretty big one, you'd basically need to make all enemy-targeting Monster Skills be replaced by the Attack command while Delude is active in addition to its normal effects.
(Alternatively, you need to make it so it's somehow possible to give enemies weapon unleashes. That is, make it so any ability slot that is filled with Attack can also be given a chance to trigger a specified other ability instead.)


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 05, 2017, 04:04:16 PM
Just some miscellaneous observations...

1) I understand why Ivan doesn't have Whirlwind by default anymore (limited slots per class, wanting both a single and multi-target for him)...but I don't think that's good game design.  I know most've us have played this game before, but I still believe in designing games as though it's a player's first time; and unlike Growth, Whirlwind is necessary for getting through the story.  So instead of Bolt, I would make WHIRLWIND the single-target attack that costs 3 PP, just like how Growth is now.

2) I would change the item description of "Elixirs" to mention that they cure CURSE as well as stun, delusion, and sleep.  For those curious, that wasn't Caledor forgetting to mention a change he made; that was part of the ORIGINAL game as well!  Got a lot of game-overs against Caledor's Manticore before learning THAT crucial detail!

3) If possible, I would use a text editor to reduce how much time the prologue takes.  I actually cut together my own take on how the Prologue would take; one that reduced the time spent in Vale from 1 hour and 7 minutes, to about 49 minutes.  I could show you if you like!  But yeah, you'd be amazed at just HOW much text you can cut without ANYTHING being lost!


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 05, 2017, 05:14:39 PM
Oh yes...I also made a lot of progress; got all the way to Colosso in fact!  I'll make detailed posts in regards to my thoughts soon; but for now, here're the levels I was at when I beat each boss...

Saturos: LVL 7 for Isaac, Garet & Ivan; LVL 10 for Mia

Tret: LVL 8-9 for Isaac, Garet & Ivan; LVL 11 for Mia

Killer Ape: LVL 11 for Isaac, Garet & Ivan; LVL 12 for Mia

Hydros Statue: LVL 13 for Isaac, Garet & Ivan (I think); LVL 14 for Mia (I think)

Manticore: LVL 14 for the first three, LVL 15 for Mia (I think)

Kraken: LVL 16 for everyone (I think)


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: JamietheFlameUser on September 05, 2017, 08:07:37 PM
Just some miscellaneous observations...

1) I understand why Ivan doesn't have Whirlwind by default anymore (limited slots per class, wanting both a single and multi-target for him)...but I don't think that's good game design.  I know most've us have played this game before, but I still believe in designing games as though it's a player's first time; and unlike Growth, Whirlwind is necessary for getting through the story.  So instead of Bolt, I would make WHIRLWIND the single-target attack that costs 3 PP, just like how Growth is now.
Another thing is that Ivan's class is Bolt User. He's supposed to be very strongly electricity-themed in his base class.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 05, 2017, 08:22:11 PM
Just some miscellaneous observations...

1) I understand why Ivan doesn't have Whirlwind by default anymore (limited slots per class, wanting both a single and multi-target for him)...but I don't think that's good game design.  I know most've us have played this game before, but I still believe in designing games as though it's a player's first time; and unlike Growth, Whirlwind is necessary for getting through the story.  So instead of Bolt, I would make WHIRLWIND the single-target attack that costs 3 PP, just like how Growth is now.
Another thing is that Ivan's class is Bolt User. He's supposed to be very strongly electricity-themed in his base class.


Even so, I looked through the Reloaded thread, and found at least one player who was stuck outside Go a Cave because he couldn't figure out how to get Whirlwind to appear.  He thought you had to grind levels.

I think removing the chance of arrested game progression like that always trumps thematics.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Caledor on September 06, 2017, 02:07:23 AM
Just some miscellaneous observations...

1) I understand why Ivan doesn't have Whirlwind by default anymore (limited slots per class, wanting both a single and multi-target for him)...but I don't think that's good game design.  I know most've us have played this game before, but I still believe in designing games as though it's a player's first time; and unlike Growth, Whirlwind is necessary for getting through the story.  So instead of Bolt, I would make WHIRLWIND the single-target attack that costs 3 PP, just like how Growth is now.
Another thing is that Ivan's class is Bolt User. He's supposed to be very strongly electricity-themed in his base class.


Even so, I looked through the Reloaded thread, and found at least one player who was stuck outside Go a Cave because he couldn't figure out how to get Whirlwind to appear.  He thought you had to grind levels.

I think removing the chance of arrested game progression like that always trumps thematics.

I think i made crystal clear that only players experienced with GS should play the mod, and djinn swapping to get utility psy is a core mechanic. There's a link to the class doc in the opening thread, the Bolt User's psy line is in red to emphasize the changes made with the latest patch. Whirlwind is an utility spell and as such is basically innate (learning level: 1-2), it would be very strange for it to suddenly require grinding. Those are a lot of pointers already.

This "chance of arrested game progression" is the same as repeatedly failing to beat some boss cause you're stubbornly trying a strategy that doesn't work anymore due to changes i made. If it doesn't challenge people to try to find new solutions it shouldn't be called a difficulty patch IMO.

On elixir: it should be "removes temporary status conditions" or something like that. there are probably more minor mistakes like this one still cause i don't play with the english version. I have to rely on you guys' reports to fix them.

On prologue's length: how would you use a text editor? to remove dialogue? if so that's pretty personal, and changing anything beside gameplay is out of the scope of the mod.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: leaf on September 06, 2017, 11:09:32 AM
I think this is too early in the game to be analyzing it to be honest.
In my run, I found burst damage quickly became less feasible and I had to rely on Paralyze a lot, and use debuffs extensively against bosses. It was tough.
Delude probably could afford a buff though.

It's never too early to analyze, since it's entirely possible for something to be balanced later on, while being imbalanced early, or vice-versa. It's a matter of progression.

Quote from: Caledor
I think i made crystal clear that only players experienced with GS should play the mod, and djinn swapping to get utility psy is a core mechanic.
I agree with Fio on this. I don't think it's reasonable to expect the player to need to switch djinn frequently just to get access to core psynergy. It doesn't matter how familiar with GS you are. Expecting players to have to mess with their class setup every time they want to use whirlwind or any other utility psy is just bad design. It's at best an inconvenience to the player that doesn't need to be there, and at worst can softlock a player's progress. Even if the player realizes "the hack creator is making us jump through hoops," the problem is, they don't necessarily know what hoops those are.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Caledor on September 06, 2017, 12:36:14 PM
Expecting players to have to mess with their class setup every time they want to use whirlwind or any other utility psy is just bad design. It's at best an inconvenience to the player that doesn't need to be there, and at worst can softlock a player's progress.
You are implying that said player is almost always in a class setup that doesn't have it. I agree that it should be easier to reach that and in fact it's been in Ivan's default class alone (which is an unprecedented exception) since forever, until i lacked the space for it. I would have immediately made it innate through the editor if i were able to do so, and I will probably invest some time in a future release to do it via hex editing since that's the only way.

That said, I refuse to accept that this inconvenient can halt a player's progress for more than a couple of minutes and i'll instantly dismiss any "i got stuck, this is bad"-like comments with a "you're not trying hard enough"-like response.

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Even if the player realizes "the hack creator is making us jump through hoops," the problem is, they don't necessarily know what hoops those are.
The point is they are supposed to know them, cause they have all the documentation available in the first post. It's like a big FAQ section; if you're having problems of any kind, you should go there and look for hints/answers. If you lose even more time for trying solutions at random, well i can't do anything about it.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: leaf on September 06, 2017, 04:39:49 PM
A game shouldn't need outside documentation. It's never bad to provide it, but unless it's something you have absolutely no control over, the player shouldn't need it. That doesn't change when it's a hack.

Anyway, you do recognize that it's a problem, so I'll stop harping on it.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 06, 2017, 07:00:02 PM
I've completed Colosso, Lunpa, Suhalla Desert, and all the Crossbone Island stuff except for Deadbeard (who is a very well designed challenge, I'd like to add  :happy: ).  Still working out a strat for him.  But anyway...

You are implying that said player is almost always in a class setup that doesn't have it.

That was generally the case for me, as I went through the game.  I found the classes that didn't have it more helpful than those that did.

I agree that it should be easier to reach that and in fact it's been in Ivan's default class alone (which is an unprecedented exception) since forever, until i lacked the space for it. I would have immediately made it innate through the editor if i were able to do so, and I will probably invest some time in a future release to do it via hex editing since that's the only way.

I have an idea; what if the Shaman's Rod gave it to him?  I mean, it's the ancient relic of a clan of Jupiter adepts, and Sheba ends up having to use Whirlwind to pass Moapa's test...so what if the Shaman's Rod granted it just like a psynergy item would?  Would that be a good solution?

That said, I refuse to accept that this inconvenient can halt a player's progress for more than a couple of minutes and i'll instantly dismiss any "i got stuck, this is bad"-like comments with a "you're not trying hard enough"-like response.

I personally never got stuck by it.  I knew Whirlwind was in Ivan's Seer class the moment I experimented with class set-ups for the Bandit fight.  But I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that someone else might've gotten tripped up by it, just because they might've been so used to how the original game was.

For all you know, they might've seen that this was a difficulty patch, decided "oh, that means I have to do some grinding!", and then... I dunno, grinned to LVL 7 or something, thinking that that's what you were expecting of them.  That sounds odd, even to me, but...I've seen players make crazier assumptions :P .

Quote
The point is they are supposed to know them, cause they have all the documentation available in the first post. It's like a big FAQ section; if you're having problems of any kind, you should go there and look for hints/answers. If you lose even more time for trying solutions at random, well i can't do anything about it.

The outside documentation does work; because this is a fan made hack that's aimed towards experts.  I am curious though; are you planning to become a game designer, by any chance?  If so, I would argue that this is a bad habit to get in to.  For games aimed at your average consumer, the outside documentation needs to be a really cool and helpful thing that the player can read through if they wish; not mandatory.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 06, 2017, 07:13:12 PM
By the way...no matter what nitpicks I have, I'd like to emphasize that I'm STILL greatly enjoying the hack!  A lot of the ideas behind this stuff is really cool, and it's great to FINALLY meet challenges great enough to stretch me to the edges of my creativity!  The only fights to ever do that to me in the base games were Poseidon and Dullahan.  But even then, Poseidon was only due to me being VASTLY under leveled due to regularly using Retreat Warpping and skipping Djinn; and Dullahan was only due to be banning resets for myself!

This hack isn't perfect, and I'll still be pointing stuff out in future videos...but on the whole, I enjoyed my time with this :happy: !


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Caledor on September 06, 2017, 11:58:40 PM
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A game shouldn't need outside documentation. It's never bad to provide it, but unless it's something you have absolutely no control over, the player shouldn't need it. That doesn't change when it's a hack.

Quote
The outside documentation does work; because this is a fan made hack that's aimed towards experts.
Different opinions but in this case the documentation doesn't really help if you can't figure out the trick by yourself. I mean, i keep mentioning the "class chart" but why would you check that if you don't think "wait, maybe it's in another class"?

Quote
I have an idea; what if the Shaman's Rod gave it to him?  I mean, it's the ancient relic of a clan of Jupiter adepts, and Sheba ends up having to use Whirlwind to pass Moapa's test...so what if the Shaman's Rod granted it just like a psynergy item would?  Would that be a good solution?
The main issue it that the fastest way to gain whirlwind if you don't have it is annoying. You need to mass standby your djinn, move one, set that, use WW and revert. I don't know how much moving it to a weapon helps that. Also it is counterintuitive, cause equipping a weapon was never used for gaining utility psy, changing your class has always been the method. Fun concept nonetheless and fits with the lore.

Anyway, glad you're liking the mod and... man, you're fast! I've never been a speedrunned but i would've never expected deadbeard in 3 days! Please take your time in describing in details everything you liked and didn't like so i can use it for future reference.

PS. I'm not really planning to be a game designer, it's just an hobby of mine ATM. One i invested a lot of time into, but still an hobby nonetheless.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 07, 2017, 01:41:24 AM
Different opinions but in this case the documentation doesn't really help if you can't figure out the trick by yourself. I mean, i keep mentioning the "class chart" but why would you check that if you don't think "wait, maybe it's in another class"?

That's very true, as well.  Good point!

Fun concept nonetheless and fits with the lore.

Thanks.  And yeah, it isn't a perfect solution either, for all the reasons you said.  I was just thinking that, if hex editing Whirlwind in was going to be too complicated or time consuming, then my suggestion might work as a "temporary fix" in the meantime; something you could easily hammer out before doing the serious work.  

Anyway, glad you're liking the mod and... man, you're fast! I've never been a speedrunned but i would've never expected deadbeard in 3 days! Please take your time in describing in details everything you liked and didn't like so i can use it for future reference.

Will do; and yeah, I've gotten to be pretty good at the game.  I'm not a speedrunner MYSELF...but I regularly correspond with runners like TL_Plexa, Fretzi, CriticalCyd, and the others on their Discord channel.  In fact, I was part of the reason Plexa discovered the "Bronze Password Glitch" (described here (https://www.reddit.com/r/GoldenSun/comments/6wpwyj/new_glitch_unique_to_bronze_passwords/)), and I also recently discovered that Dullahan can only use three patterns worth of opening moves (the 1st being "Break/Attack -> True Collide -> Element Swap", the 2nd being "Attack -> True Collide -> Formina Sage", and the 3rd being "Charon -> Curse -> Djinn Storm").

So I do have a fair amount of skill at this game, though it's still nothing compared to what the actual speed runners can do.  Regardless, I'll do my absolute best to give you fantastic commentary!

PS. I'm not really planning to be a game designer, it's just an hobby of mine ATM. One i invested a lot of time into, but still an hobby nonetheless.

Ah, gotcha!  Oky doke then.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 07, 2017, 09:35:20 AM
Well, that's that!  Finally beat Deadbeard AND Fusion Dragon today, so that's that done.  I have to say though; I enjoyed the Deadbeard fight...but the Fusion Dragon took a preposterously long time to kill.  I don't know if I was too underleveled or not, but...well, here's where I was at at both bosses...

Deadbeard: Ivan at LVL 22, everyone else at LVL 23

Fusion Dragon: Mia & Ivan & Garet at LVL 25, Isaac at LVL 26

But yeah, I think that blasted +50 HP regen was excessive.  Made that fight take about twice as long as it should've taken, IMO.  Deadbeard took a while too, but he was a much more exciting fight.  Fusion Dragon, on the other hand, was just kind of a slog :sad: ...

But oh well!  Expect some videos soon, and God bless you!

EDIT: Actually, one more thing.  Is a single Planet Diver SUPPOSED to be an AoE that can do 350+ Damage to someone?  I mean, USUALLY it only hit for about 180-200 to whoever it hit hardest; but OTHER times, it seemed like it would randomly do double what it normally did.  It might be my imagination, but the damage numbers seemed to fluctuate an unusual amount.

Regardless, the Dragon's ability to do two of those in a single round is probably part of the reason my strat took so long.  I had to use a strat that was safe enough to accomodate for that :sad: .


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Caledor on September 07, 2017, 11:03:31 AM
EDIT: Actually, one more thing.  Is a single Planet Diver SUPPOSED to be an AoE that can do 350+ Damage to someone?  I mean, USUALLY it only hit for about 180-200 to whoever it hit hardest; but OTHER times, it seemed like it would randomly do double what it normally did.  It might be my imagination, but the damage numbers seemed to fluctuate an unusual amount.

Regardless, the Dragon's ability to do two of those in a single round is probably part of the reason my strat took so long.  I had to use a strat that was safe enough to accomodate for that :sad: .
You mean Dragon Driver? That skill is basically the same as vanilla barring +10 power, so numbers shouldn't fluctuate that much. If you've recorded a video of the fight i'd love to see it.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 11, 2017, 08:27:02 PM
Alright, and here's Part 2!  Imil Cave to Saturos!  Note that there are some audio mixing issues in the first 20 seconds, with my voice being WAY too silent.  That gets better after that point.

Note that I did NOT do Tret before doing this part.  In addition, I sold the Water of Life so that I could buy EVERY piece of armor I could from Bilibin, as well as a Broad Sword for Garet.  In addition, I gave the Mint and 20x Herbs to Ivan so he would outspeed Saturos; and also gave 10x Herbs to Mia just in case (wasn't needed, as it turns out).

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So, once again, I'll provide the cliff notes version of my thoughts, and the long version!

Short Version: This part of the game is almost perfectly balanced!  The summons are just as useful as they should be; strong enough to kill or almost kill most of the encounters around here while still allowing enemies to do a lot of damage to you.  But I would tweak the Ooze enemies if you're going to have a 4x Ooze encounter.  These guys are far too durable, and split up far too often as they are now.  They don't fit into the difficulty curve of the rest of this area, so I'd highly suggest some nerfs to them.

I would also tweak either Sleet or Poison so that Poison is almost guaranteed to land on Sleet.  The fight only lasts 2-3 turns, so Poison is only worth it if it gets at least two turns worth of use.  Otherwise it's worthless to me.

Long Version: The 4x Ooze encounter...dang.  Those guys take off about a 1/3rd of your HP with every hit, and split up often enough that I'll end up having to kill seven of them before I finally finish things.  By that time, I'll generally lose about 2/3rds of my party, if I even win at all. 

NONE OF THE OTHER ENCOUNTERS ARE THAT HARD!  So for the sake of having a consistent difficulty curve, I would choose one of the following options...

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1) Cut the 4x Ooze encounter down to 3x.

2) Reduce the chances of them duplicating

3) Nerf their starting HP to where I can kill them much more easily
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As for Sleet, that fight only lasts for 3 turns at the most; and the Poison status ailment only does 30 HP worth of damage per turn.  So the only way it's damage would surpass that of Starburst and Spire is if it lands on the very 1st turn; and that does not seem to happen anywhere near often enough to be worth the opportunity cost.  You said you wanted debuffs to be more useful, and that you wanted to have many different sorts of strategies be effective.  Well, I'd say the Sleet fight is another good opportunity to follow through on that  :happy: .

For Saturos...I'm not sure if I'd tweak that fight or not.  Saturos has 1700 HP compared to the 1200 HP he used to have; and I'm not sure that's entirely necessary given how badly summons have been nerfed.  I don't know what exact tweaks you made to the damage formulas, but it seems like LVL 2 summons only do around 50% of the damage they used to do (despite the HP% modifier only going down from 3% to 2%...right?), and LVL 3-4 summons do even less than that.  So I'm not sure the HP boost was entirely necessary for Saturos.  I mean...I spent most of the fight doing the exact same sequence of moves, so nothing would've changed for me if Saturos had 1200 HP instead of 1700.

That said, the fight only lasts about 9 minutes as-is; and that's a pretty reasonable length, IMO.  So, you can use your best judgment as to whether or not that deserves tweaking  :happy: !

And that's it!  Any other questions any of you have? 


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: leaf on September 11, 2017, 09:09:56 PM
I don't know what cal did, but even if summon HP damage was 1%, those damage numbers shouldn't be possible. 2% of 1700 is 34, and nereid's base damage is 60. At 1% per djinni, it would be doing at minimum 94 base damage, before elemental modifiers. At 2% per djinni, nereid should be hitting 128 base damage, before elemental modifiers. Even if saturos's HP were unchanged, it would still be 108 base damage. Meanwhile, mia, who has >100 mercury power against saturos's 72 mercury resist, only did 93 damage with her first nereid summon. Something is *very* wrong with these numbers.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 11, 2017, 10:12:03 PM
I don't know what cal did, but even if summon HP damage was 1%, those damage numbers shouldn't be possible. 2% of 1700 is 34, and nereid's base damage is 60. At 1% per djinni, it would be doing at minimum 94 base damage, before elemental modifiers. At 2% per djinni, nereid should be hitting 128 base damage, before elemental modifiers. Even if saturos's HP were unchanged, it would still be 108 base damage. Meanwhile, mia, who has >100 mercury power against saturos's 72 mercury resist, only did 93 damage with her first nereid summon. Something is *very* wrong with these numbers.

...Huh.  That IS weird now that you mention it.  And looking at the changes from the Reloaded thread, the LVL 1-3 summons are supposed to be STRONGER than they used to be, too!  Take a look!

Summons' HP% Damage nerfed from 3% per Djinn to 2% per Djinn (Daedalus: 5% the first attack and 10% the missile instead).

Summons Base power is 35-70-130-220 for the standard 4, Zagan 60, Megaera 65, Flora 120, Moloch 125, Ulysses 210, Eclipse 310, Haures 320, Coatlicue 400, Dedalus 140+340, Azul 500, Catastrophe 520, Charon 580, Iris 750.

Summons that require more than 2 djinn won't appear right at the start of a battle. After the first turn, 3-djinn summons become available; after the second, 4-djinn summons become available and so on, with Iris available after the 7th turn has passed (6 and 7 djinn summons are unlocked in the same turn).

Catastrophe requires 7 djinn to be summoned (5 Ju, 2 Me), Charon 8 (6 Ve, 2 Ju) and Iris 10 (6 Ma, 4 Me).

HP gained from Djinn more or less halved.

Reflux is multi-target. Shade and Flash reduce damage respectively by 50% and 66% instead of 60% and 90%. Vine, Mud, Gasp and Fury deal base damage. Ember restores 10% of PP, Ether 35% and Aroma 12,5%. Balm and Spark revive to 50% HP instead of 60%. Crystal heals 60% of HP.

LVL 1 summons used to be 30, LVL 2 used to be 60, LVL 3 used to be 120, and LVL 4 used to be 240.  So the ONLY ones that should be weaker are the LVL 4 ones.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: leaf on September 12, 2017, 12:03:40 AM
There seems to be something screwy happening with epow in general here.

Mia's Nereid damage with no mercury boosts: 93 damage
Mia's Nereid damage with +30 mercury power: 99 damage
Garet's Nereid damage with no mercury boosts: 78 damage
Garet's Nereid damage with +30 mercury power: 83 damage
Garet's Nereid damage with +60 mercury power: 82 damage (??????)
Garet's Nereid damage with +90 mercury power: 85 damage (??????)

Garet's Venus damage: 32, 38
Mia's Venus damage: 37
Isaac's Venus damage: 38, 40
Ivan's Venus damage: 35

Now, it's entirely possible I missed a "X's mercury power returns to normal" text, since I was watching the video at 2x speed specifically so I could look for summon damage, but something about these numbers feels very off. Garet's Venus damage should not be able to vary that much.

The 30/60/90 buff amounts were all within 3 damage of each other, so maybe epow buffs don't stack like I thought they did, but that still doesn't explain how +30 mercury power is only increasing damage by 6 or 7. At 70 base damage, 30 epow should give a minimum of +10 or +11 damage. Even if we assume that 78 was a high roll for Garet, that would imply that +30 mercury power only increased his damage by 7.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 12, 2017, 12:10:32 AM
Summon boosts don't stack on top of one another; and from what I remember, it was like that in the vanilla game, too.  Not sure how LVL 3 summon boosts would interact with LVL 4 summon boosts and all that, but, that might answer that question.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: leaf on September 12, 2017, 12:25:10 AM
Okay, that's what I figured when I saw those numbers. I guess I never noticed since when you're spamming lv4 summons, +100 epow probably caps you out anyway. It still doesn't explain why the damage increase from +0 -> +30 is so small, though, or why Nereid is only doing damage in the 90s from Mia.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: JamietheFlameUser on September 12, 2017, 12:30:25 AM
ePow in this hack might be /250 instead of /200 in the damage formula since the cap for ePow and eRes was boosted to 250. Not sure that's enough to explain the weird numbers, though.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 12, 2017, 04:29:45 AM
And here's the Tret Boss Fight to right before Killer Ape!  My commentary is still a little silent compared to the game; but it's at least properly synced now.  So if I can get the game audio and commentary audio balanced out, that should be all the technical issues worked out!  Anywhere, here you go!

2hE_FwWVcDM

Short Version: Once again, almost no complaints here.  Tret is now dangerous enough to be a threat, while still tame enough to ease players in to the difficulty curve.  Plus, he serves as an effective wake-up call to anyone who isn't using Elixirs.  However, I would tweak the Djinn fights so that they can't run away anymore.  They get two actions per round, so their chances of fleeing just becomes that much more obnoxious.  As for the random encounters, they are an appropriate upgrade from what came before them.  Strong enough to be dangerous without Kolima's armor, but still easy enough WITH Kolima's armor. 

However, I am not looking forward to the Killer Ape.  That's a definite low point in this hack, IMO.

Long Version: The boss fights are, in my opinion, the weakest part of this hack; however, even those aren't generally too bad.  Tret, for example, is actually very well designed for where he's at in the game.  His offensive capabilities are decent without being overkill, Djinn summons are still strong enough to take off a good amount of his HP, and Sleep Star is a good wake-up call for anyone who's not using Elixirs.  Plus, he's slow enough to where I'm always able to outspeed him.

I'm not sure Caledor properly play-tested the early game bosses that now get 2 actions per round instead of 1 (Killer Ape and Hydros Statue); but this guy, at least, turned out pretty well.

The random encounters work out similarly well, partially due to a neat trick I learned a long time ago.  By spreading out Djinn of different elements, instead of going mono-elemental on all characters, I can significantly increase the rate at which I recover them.  This, as you can see, is very powerful; and it's one of the reasons why the vanilla games are so broken.

Speaking of Djinn, I don't think it's necessary for them to run away anymore.  Each Djinn after Sleet gets 2 Actions per round instead of the usual 1; so that chance to Run Away becomes all that much more obnoxious.  And besides; the Djinn are now strong enough that they can easily wipe your party if you're not careful with Granite, Zephyrs, and other Djinn.  That makes them challenge enough as is, IMO.

Mogall Forest is a sharp difficulty spike, if you haven't bought all the armor upgrades possible in Kolima.  I don't know why the Dirge's Flying Attack did so little damage to me here, but I remember it doing 75-90 Damage (don't remember the exact amount) to some of my characters back in my first playthrough, when I tried to make do without buying anything at Kolima.  The Skeleton's Undead Sword was also pretty strong, at something like 55 Damage to a single character without upgrades.  

That, and the upcoming Killer Ape fight, are why I was so desperate to get all the armor upgrades at Kolima.  The Killer Ape fight is still absolutely stupid, even WITH those upgrades; but I can at least nullify the random encounters before it.

I also like the fact that the Turtle Boots now give a flat AGL penalty instead of giving a multiplicative one.  I'm undecided about doing the same to the Elven Shirt; but it does change things up a little at least.  

Anyways, everything was all pretty good in this update.  NEXT UPDATE though?  Thaaaat's when things are going to get...not-so-good.  The Killer Ape is a beast all-it's-own; I'm gonna need a WHOLE separate video to do justice to that one!

So then, have a nice night, and God bless you all!


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Caledor on September 12, 2017, 02:15:05 PM
Short answer cause i'm really busy these days:

Dirge's Flying Attack deals either 0.8 or 1.6 damage.
Djinn that act twice per turn have half the chance to use the "Flee" command so there's no difference in the overall chance to run away.
I'll check the summons damage formula.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 12, 2017, 04:34:32 PM
Dirge's Flying Attack deals either 0.8 or 1.6 damage.

Aha!  So THAT'S what was up!

Djinn that act twice per turn have half the chance to use the "Flee" command so there's no difference in the overall chance to run away.

I see...would you mind scrapping the chance to run anyways?  I don't think it added anything to this OR the vanilla game.  If I don't have Ground, Mist, Torch and/or Scorch, it adds an unavoidable chance of having to reset.  If I DO have those Djinn, it doesn't matter anyway; because I'll just stun lock it to death before it can even move.  

That's my opinion, anyway.

I'll check the summons damage formula.

Thanks so much!


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 15, 2017, 05:21:34 AM
Alright...here it is.  Judgment day has come.  The main video is the 1st one, the 2nd is a failure reel to showcase how mean Killer Ape can REALLY be, and the 3rd is the rebalanced Killer Ape that I made myself.  Make sure to turn on Captions on the 1st video for a bit of added commentary!

p5Ofg5OPrC8

-OadLf-ta5Y

gofPgDX9d7o

Short Version: This is my least favorite boss fight in the entire game.  It is a luck-based fight where there's nothing you can do if the RNG decides it hates you; and NONE of the other boss fights are like that.  Not even Deadbeard and Fusion Dragon are as OP as this guy is at the point you fight him.  He also lacks structure, fluctuating between doing almost no damage some rounds, to doing an impossibly high amount on others.  But the worst thing is that status ailments are no help at all.  This is a fight that's practically BEGGING for Sleet and the Arctic Blade to do their thing; but those are rendered null and void by the new Luck formula Caledor introduced.  So I would make the following changes...

------------------------------------------------
1) Nerf Ransack from 1.7x physical damage to 1.6x physical damage

2) Change War Cry back to it's original 45 base Jupiter power, instead of the 70 base Jupiter power it now has)

3) Increase the rate at which Sleet and Arctic Howl inflict the ATK Down status to where they almost never fail

4) Replace Debilitate and Bind with offensive moves so that the nerfs above don't make the fight too easy.  I personally chose to introduce a new version of Sentinal's "Armor Crush" attack (1.3x base damage, and chance of lowering defense by two stages), and a revamped version of "Mud Spatter" (30 base Venus damage, single target, with a chance of cutting Agility in half)
------------------------------------------------

Long Version: I don't believe boss fights should ever come down to luck for any party that's at least close to the expected level; not even in a difficulty mod.  This fight is the only one that violates that ideal; and while I dislike some other boss fights for other reasons (Fusion Dragon and Hydros Statue), even those fights were fair in their difficulty.  This one just plain sucks.

To begin with, Killer Ape had his Attack increased from 156 to 225, and that's in ADDITION to now having two actions per round.  If that weren't enough, his offensive moves were also given catastrophically high increases.  To whit...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
War Cry: 45 :JupiterStar: Power > 70 :JupiterStar: Power

Ransack: Base physical damage + 36 :VenusStar: points > 1.7x physical damage
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As a result, this boss can literally do upwards of 260+ Damage in a single round if he decides to do 2x Ransacks.  And that's WITH base defense; if he lands enough Debilitates, that number goes all the way up to 167+ PER HIT!!  War Cry is no joke either; it now does 90-100 Damage to whoever it hits, in addition to potentially stunning them.  

The only boss I can think of whose offense was THAT absurd compared to where you were at are Poseidon and Dullahan.  However, those fights were far more structured; Dullahan followed a fixed attack pattern, and Poseidon was incapable of ever doing the same move twice in the same round.  Neither one of them could ever do the same move twice in a single round; they had outer limits put on how abusive the RNG could be.

This boss has no such fetters.  Worse yet, this is at a point where Quartz is the only easily available option for reviving characters.  The one gained at Vault is vital for buying the defensive upgrades I needed at Kolima and Bilibin; and the one from Lord McCoy's castle is locked behind one of Golden Sun's infamously long sequence of cutscenes.  I would often try to revive a character, only to stand there helplessly as Killer Ape knocked them back down in the very same round.

Make no mistake; this boss can OHKO even the likes of Garet with Ransack + enough Debilitates.  And even if it couldn't, it has at least three combination of moves that can kill whoever it wants to, no matter what you may try to do.  2x Ransacks, 2x War Cries, and Ransack + War Cry are all more than enough to eviscerate anyone unlucky enough to get hit by both.  And if this hits the person with Quartz on them?  Well, it means the fight is basically over at that point.  The only way you'll win is if the Killer Ape let you stack enough damage on top of it beforehand.  

None of that, however, would be a problem; except for what is perhaps the biggest problem of all...

STATUS AILMENTS DO NOT WORK!!

I cannot emphasize that above point enough.  Caledor has gone on record to say the following two things (slightly abridged for the sake of brevity)...

The goal, as always, is to provide a harder and not too straightforward game, meant to be enjoyed by players that...want to try other things than Megiddo & Summon Rush. [quote slightly abridged]

Debuffs are now useful against bosses. ST Buffs/Debuffs have lower duration.

But my experiences tell a different story.  The Luck formula is structured in a way that renders status ailments null and void on bosses.  Each boss possesses 40+ Luck in Caledor's hack in order to provide them immunity to ailments like Stun, Curse, Haunt, and others.  While that sounds good on paper, it has the side effect of drastically increasing their resistance to those that CAN land on them.  

Killer Ape and Hyrdros Statues are fights that practically BEG the player to use status ailments; however, their Luck is high enough to resist anything you might try 50% of the time.  And even when your ailment DOES succeed in landing, it doesn't matter.  You're lucky if the ailment lasts any longer than 2 rounds; and I can't think of a single time I've ever seen one last longer than 3 rounds.  And while the multi-target debuffs are supposedly longer lasting, their effects are only half of what single-target ailments can do.  

For that reason, I find it far more practical to play the game the same way I've always played it; turtle up when it seems wise to do so, then swing for the fences with my strongest offensive psynergies, unleashes, and summons once I've found the opportunity.  And that's in regards to ALL the boss fights; Killer Ape and Hydros Statue just happen to be the fights where I most desperately WANTED status ailments to work better than they do.

Of course, I won't pretend to know what the exact solution to this problem should be.  Off the top of my head, I'm thinking Caledor might want to...

------------------------------------------------
1) Lower the "status immunity" threshold to 30 Luck instead of 40 (though that will still make it difficult for status ailments to land)

2) Tweak debuffs so they always last a minimum of 3 Turns (though 4 is preferable in my mind).  That way, they'll at least be worth the opportunity cost I paid in not just chopping off more HP with my offensive psynergies.

3) Drastically increase the rate at which debuffs land (so they at least land often, even if they go away at the drop of a hat)

4) Have 2 and 3 apply to many early game bosses, then only apply 2 OR 3 to mid to endgame bosses
------------------------------------------------

And as far as this SPECIFIC fight goes, I would again propose the following changes...

------------------------------------------------
1) Nerf Ransack from 1.7x physical damage to 1.6x physical damage

2) Change War Cry back to it's original 45 base Jupiter power, instead of the 70 base Jupiter power it now has)

3) Increase the rate at which Sleet and Arctic Howl inflict the ATK Down status to where they almost never fail

4) Replace Debilitate and Bind with offensive moves so that the nerfs above don't make the fight too easy.  I personally chose to introduce a new version of Sentinal's "Armor Crush" attack (1.3x base damage, and chance of lowering defense by two stages), and a revamped version of "Mud Spatter" (30 base Venus damage, single target, with a chance of cutting Agility in half)
------------------------------------------------

Anyway, I hope I don't end up hurting Caledor's feelings.  I know from experience how much negative feedback can hurt; so I won't blame him if he's a shaken by this.  Just know that my aim is only to help; Caledor wants feedback, and I'm giving it the best and most thorough way I know how.  I'm not just trying to complain here.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Caledor on September 15, 2017, 06:09:16 PM
I answered on Discord, but i'll leave something here too as a reminder:
War Cry got buffed by mistake, it will go down to 40-45. Attack is fine, ransack too. Debuffing with moves that also deal damage was always meant to be pretty difficult. There's room for improvement, but not too much: 5~10% at most.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: leaf on September 15, 2017, 08:46:40 PM
This is similar to what fio said on discord, but I'd much rather see status/debuff infliction via damaging abilities be consistent, but with a weaker effect (and less damage, if need be). If they can't be relied upon to inflict debuffs, then you're essentially paying a cost (lower damage) and not getting anything back for it. Offensive djinn are probably the most accessible debuffs in the game, but if the rate is @#$%, then it doesn't matter how accessible something is if you only end up using it because "it's a damaging djinni."


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: JamietheFlameUser on September 15, 2017, 11:16:38 PM
Ransack is not fine. Ransack is demonstrably not fine. Or at least, it's not fine in combination with how near-impossible it is to debuff the Killer Ape's Attack stat.

I think debuffing Djinn should either have a weaker debuff, or less damage, or both. In any case, their effects should be more consistent. I will say I think combining the Killer Ape's high attack with its two turns and the existence of War Cry seems like a mistake, because you can lose half your party to Stun and be entirely unable to heal off its high damage output and just lose automatically.

In any case, my opinion is that debuff infliction rates should be high enough to almost always trigger on basic enemies (and to be absolutely guaranteed on enemies with vulnerability), and to land fairly reliably on a boss who has vulnerability to that specific debuff. I think base 100% for single-target debuffs and base 120% for multi-target debuffs seems appropriate. Perhaps reduce these numbers a little bit to make ailment rate-boosting equipment worthwhile.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Caledor on September 15, 2017, 11:46:14 PM
Quote
Ransack is not fine. Ransack is demonstrably not fine.
Ransack and the attack stat are fine from the editor perspective. That's why i said i need to play the battle myself: to see if another test tells a different story.

I think base 100% for single-target debuffs and base 120% for multi-target debuffs seems appropriate. Perhaps reduce these numbers a little bit to make ailment rate-boosting equipment worthwhile.
Currently the values are: base 70% for djinn (damage with debuff attached in general), base 95% for ST debuff and 125% for MT debuff.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: JamietheFlameUser on September 16, 2017, 01:01:22 AM
I think base 100% for single-target debuffs and base 120% for multi-target debuffs seems appropriate. Perhaps reduce these numbers a little bit to make ailment rate-boosting equipment worthwhile.
Currently the values are: base 70% for djinn (damage with debuff attached in general), base 95% for ST debuff and 125% for MT debuff.
Those numbers are… actually close to fine, though damage with debuffs (Djinn in particular) should probably have a lower magnitude debuff in exchange for more consistency. Base 100% but with MT debuff magnitude seems appropriate.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 16, 2017, 01:03:55 AM
I would argue for ailments lasting a longer amount of time as well.  Otherwise, keeping them on is a hassle.

Anyway, I can hand you my save file if you wish!  And if you don't have Bizhawk 2.2, I'll send you THAT as well!


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Caledor on September 16, 2017, 09:32:25 AM
Those numbers are… actually close to fine, though damage with debuffs (Djinn in particular) should probably have a lower magnitude debuff in exchange for more consistency. Base 100% but with MT debuff magnitude seems appropriate.
Can't remember now why i dismissed that option when i made those changes to debuffs. Maybe turn duration? Strange cause it seems feasible now.

@Fionordequester. Yeah please upload your save, no need to worry about the emulator itself though, i'll probably try to convert the save to VBA first.


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Fionordequester on September 16, 2017, 06:10:14 PM
Alright!  Then here's a download link from Dropbox...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jq95opj60497k92/Golden%20Sun%20-%20Reloaded.SaveRAM?dl=0

And here's one from Google Drive!

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwGWkhHwJ6SRSWxOZWFKV0k2Ync

Have fun with Killer Ape xD!


Title: Re: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions
Post by: Featherwick on August 28, 2018, 11:45:29 PM
I saw the suggestion to make the Shaman Rod giving whirlwind, but what about giving an item that gives it?  Like the frost gem.  I dunno if there are any items that are leftover in Golden Sun, seems fair to me.