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1  The Editor / Golden Sun Hacking / Re: Three Ideas for Balancing Summons on: August 14, 2017, 10:25:27 PM
No, the "easiest thing to do" is to leave it exactly as it is. Too many designers get worked up about giving every possible quest a gameplay-related reward. Sometimes, it's better to give the player a reward in the form of feedback - a cool cinematic, some story, etc, rather than something that directly impacts the gameplay. In a lot of cases, this feedback reward is more valuable to a player than getting a new shiny weapon. For many players, Iris is just that - it's a cool cinematic with an "apparently" broken effect.

And for the small segment of the playerbase that manages to beat Dullahan but somehow falters on the Doom Dragon, it's very practical to summon using your second party. If you put the djinn on standby beforehand, you can turn 1 Iris after a wipe. It's conventionally more useful than any other 7+ djinn summon in the game.
2  The Editor / Golden Sun Hacking / Re: Three Ideas for Balancing Summons on: August 14, 2017, 08:28:41 AM
Considering the whole point of beating bonus bosses for many people is to say they did it, I think it's fine. The reward is knowing that you were able to beat the game's superboss, which is honestly a better reward than *any* item you could give the player at that point. Something awesome but impractical is *preferable* for this kind of situation, since the player isn't going to have anything left to use it on anyway.
3  The Editor / Golden Sun Hacking / Re: Three Ideas for Balancing Summons on: August 13, 2017, 05:25:37 PM
He was saying it would be okay if the cost was made cheaper to make it "OP" while keeping the effect. Personally, I disagree, since it'd be nice if the doom dragon still offered at least some semblance of challenge, even after beating all other content.

I'd rather just leave Iris as a trophy summon. It doesn't need to be practical. It's there to look pretty and to commemorate your beating of Dullahan.
4  The Editor / Golden Sun Hacking / Re: Three Ideas for Balancing Summons on: August 13, 2017, 12:02:53 AM
Yeah... Iris is probably best left as a gimmick in all honesty. Not everything *needs* to be practical, especially if it's the reward for beating the uber boss.
5  The Editor / Golden Sun Hacking / Re: Three Ideas for Balancing Summons on: August 12, 2017, 09:30:48 PM
Yeah, I'm not fond of the turn-gating solution, myself. You mentioned reducing djinn count and reducing power of multi-elemental summons on the discord, and that's definitely something I can agree with. Any summon that takes 7+ djinn is only useful for summon rushing, and is more of a gimmick than anything to pull out in normal combat. That would help balancing pretty much everything except Iris, since Iris's secondary effect (revive all party members, even those out of battle) is fundamentally broken; it would either need that effect removed or it would need to remain at a very high djinn count.

Higher enemy agility is actually pretty clever. If turn speed is balanced around the expectation of the player having djinn and having them set, that means that if the player *does not* have their djinn set, they'll end up moving after the enemies, which defeats the point of trying to summon against them in the first place. It would dance a pretty fine line to get it right, but it has the potential to fix the problem without having to change any basic game mechanics.
6  The Editor / Golden Sun Hacking / Re: Three Ideas for Balancing Summons on: August 12, 2017, 07:44:06 PM
Caledor is the one who implemented a system where you cannot use anything higher than tier 2(?) summons on the first turn of battle. Each turn, an additional tier would unlock.

I think your concern about the early game is misplaced, though. Even if someone were to spam tier 1 or 2 summons in normal battles, it's at a point of the game where it's arguably needed. In the early game, "attack" is not a valid way of doing damage. Tier 1 summons only have 30 base power, so they quickly get overtaken by area psys. Likewise, tier 2 summons only have 60 base power, which is comparable to psynergy available at that time. This essentially just makes tier 1 or 2 summons into a "free psynergy cast," but a single free psynergy cast is not going to win the battle for you; you'll still probably be expending PP elsewhere if you're trying to one-round an encounter - and if you don't one-round, you're going to be expending PP on healing instead. When tier 3 becomes available is the first time it might be considered a problem, since they have a base power of 120, and tier 4 is 240.

In regard to buffing psynergy... you wouldn't need to cut their cost in half. A small reduction would go a long way. Remember that PP regen is a thing. You don't have a fixed amount of psynergy you can spend, but rather an infinite resource that takes time to fill to a capacity. I do think area psy PP costs are slightly too high across the board, but even as much as a 20% reduction would let the player spam them considerably more.
7  The Editor / Golden Sun Hacking / Re: Three Ideas for Balancing Summons on: August 10, 2017, 08:35:24 PM
If you make the relative level mod bigger, it makes it impossible to flee against higher level enemies. If a 3 level difference results in a 45% flat difference in flee rate, you could very easily be locked into fighting something you can't beat. Considering that wandering into an area above your level and getting the hell out of there is one of the two main reasons someone would want to flee, I don't view that as an acceptable solution.

Changing the 5000 to 7500 would increase the base flee rate from 50% (wtf this is so bad) to 75%, which still results in a guaranteed flee at 5 level difference, but still favors the player until they reach a 5+ level deficit. Personally, if I was going to retune it to allow fleeing to fail, but do so rarely, I'd prob do something like...

8500 + 1200*flee fails + (relative level*300) >= random(0,9999)
8  The Editor / Golden Sun Hacking / Re: Three Ideas for Balancing Summons on: August 09, 2017, 11:37:30 PM
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I do agree with this point, at least.  I'm thinking now, a better solution would be to just implement the "one turn recovery, then two turn recovery, then three turn recovery" thing I edited in to my last response.  That way we can keep the "ammo-based system" you're referring to while keeping things from getting too crazy.
That still breaks equilibrium, since after you exhaust each djinni once, you start running into longer cooldowns. For battles such as Star Magician or Doom Dragon that can inevitably become wars of attrition (even when played "normally"), this would be far too punishing, all for the sake of nerfing a fringe abuse case. It's especially punishing for mixed classes, since they may have djinn of a given element spread between 2 or 3 party members just by virtue of the classes requiring it.

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Actually, it does about 120-150 Damage per hit even with Mars.  Not great, but, enough to take him down after about...10 minutes or so.  That's still a reasonable enough time to be a viable strat.
It's absolutely viable. It's just slow. If you wanted to nerf it, all you would have to do is give the Fusion Dragon access to status moves. Disabling a character for a turn can break the cycle and force the player into a recovery state. You might consider nerfing its damage output alongside this, since a change like that will up the difficulty even for a "normal" battle style.

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I know you meant this as part of a reason why I SHOULDN'T go through with what I propose, but, this is exactly WHY the Summon system is problematic in how it's set up.  There are absolutely no random encounters where Attack Psynergy is preferable to Summons; and very few situations where it's preferable against bosses.  Summons do more damage, always hit every enemy, and don't cost you anything to use.  Even the recovery times outside of battle are made moot by spreading your Djinn in the correct way.

So basically, what I want is to create a situation where Attack Psynergy is sometimes the better strategic option for going through a long dungeon; and more consistently the better option against bosses (instead of just spamming Unleashes and Summons. 
There are plenty of random encounters where attack psynergy is preferable to summons. When you're strong enough to the point that the attack command is enough to beat most foes, it's more optimal to set your djinn for the stats they provide, and then cover with an occasional AOE psy for the times when you face tankier enemies. Because of PP regen, this is just as sustainable as summon spam. At that point, the only measure of what is "more efficient" becomes how much time it takes, and in the cases where attack spam works, it takes less time.

Also, while it's often overlooked due to the power of EPAs, mages are actually balanced around a shifting role depending on the type of fight they're in. Against mooks, they trend toward being a damaging aoe caster, while against bosses, they trend toward healing and distributing buffs. They can attack, but unlike fighters, which have one singular role in all battles (single-target dps), they trade some raw physical damage to perform these two other roles.

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That's not laziness though; that's human nature.  We live our whole lives juggling financial and personal costs, deciding which options give use the greatest reward for the least amount of cost.  I do not think the player is to blame for coming to the conclusion that summons are more powerful, more reliable AND less costly to use in most situations.
Yes, it's human nature. Human nature is to trend toward what's easiest, i.e. laziness. I don't know how you got "blaming the player" out of that, though, because that's the exact opposite of the intention behind what I said. I was specifically saying that you can't blame players for taking the easy road, because it's human nature. What you can do, however, is incentivize them to make a different choice, one that's healthier gameplay-wise.

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Hence, the Flee mechanic works just fine; no tweaks needed there.  It's not always the best thing to do, has very clear penalties for using it improperly, but is still rewarding enough that it's still a viable option in some cases.  With any luck, we'll all succeed in doing the same with Summons :( ...
No, the flee mechanic is a horrible mess and doesn't work at all. Feeling already comes with a built-in cost: you're forgoing exp, gold, and potential drops by fleeing the fight, either because you judged the fight to be too difficult or not worth your time. This makes fleeing a tactical choice, with clear consequences. By constantly fleeing from battles, players can end up underleveled, which is a satisfactory tradeoff for the time saved by not fighting. However, if fleeing can fail, then the player is heavily disincentivized from fleeing: if they end up taking just as much damage as they would have if they had just fought the battle normally, there's no longer a tradeoff there; it's just all downsides. As a result, players are conditioned to avoid fleeing, since after it fails once or twice, they end up taking heavy casualties; the risk is not at all worth the reward.

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But that's an intangible quality.  The measure of "does this menu navigation take too much time for me" isn't something I can directly observe and measure like I can the question of "does Attack Psynergy cost PP and does Summoning cost PP?"
The concept of "too much time" can be quantified. You can directly compare how long it takes to complete battles using one method to another; the one that takes less total time is superior.

As an aside, I commend the players that figure out how to "break" a system. For how much we talk of how broken summons can be for normal battles, I think if you were to interview players about how they played GS on their first or even any subsequent playthrough, only a very small minority would say they did this. Most players wouldn't think of spreading their djinn to enable quick recovery; most players don't even know you can select a "red" summon, much less how the game decides which standby djinn to use. This is the kind of thing you only discover when you're interested in the underlying mechanics of the game and specifically try to get as much out of them as you can. These are power players that specifically look for how to push game mechanics to their limits, like you or I. But to the average player, they see a summon is available, they use it, and the game mechanics take it from there.

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The only thing is, I don't want it to be weaker against EVERYTHING.  I'm fine with Judgment doing enough damage to OHKO entire groups of enemies (provided there's a tangible trade off for that).  It's only against bosses that I think the damage numbers are too high.
You forget that summons also have a base damage. The base damage is what keeps them relevant against mooks, while the percentage damage is why they scale so hard against bosses. Judgment is 240 base power + 12% of the target's health. Against a 500 HP enemy, the HP% modifier only adds 60 damage. Against a 5000 HP enemy, the HP% modifier adds 600 damage. If you want to nerf summons against bosses but keep them roughly the same against mooks, it's as simple as adding a little more base damage while slashing the HP% modifier.
9  The Editor / Golden Sun Hacking / Re: Three Ideas for Balancing Summons on: August 09, 2017, 08:15:50 AM
What you fail to understand is that the djinn system would cease to be fun with the nerfs you're proposing. Djinn and summons were designed to work in a cadence, where the player expends an ammo-based system to steadily weaken themselves, with the promise of being able to pull off a strong attack later in the battle and recover their spent resources. After a certain point, it reaches an equilibrium where the player is getting back djinn at the same rate they're spending them. That is how this system was designed. If you make djinn take longer in recovery, this cadence is lost; the player is made weaker and weaker with no equilibrium in sight, until they finally run completely dry. Djinn would lose their intended use, and just become a watered down mechanic to fix a non-existent problem.

Did I say non-existent? Yes, I mean it. The loop you mentioned is end-game only. In GS1, you only have Flash available for the final battle. The designers knew it was broken. It exists so that players who are underleveled (or bad at the game) can still beat it. Remember that games are meant to be beaten, so it's okay for this kind of thing to exist sometimes. Can you use it to trivialize the Fusion Dragon? Yes. Does it make the battle take forever because you're doing practically no damage with this strat? Also yes. Is it fun? Not after the first 20 times you do it. There are sustainable ways to take down the Fusion Dragon that don't involve stalling out the battle. Players will naturally gravitate toward using the most damaging method available to them that can consistently win, and if they're underleveled to the point of having to rely on Flash+Granite spam, it's probably a good thing the option is there for them.

For future reference, there is actually a better loop in GS2 that makes use of lull and eddy:

Do stuff -> lull
Flash -> summon magaera -> unleash eddy -> summon mercury
Do stuff -> lull
...you get the idea. There's a few other variants, and it requires a very deliberate turn order to make the second turn work, but if your lull user is faster than the boss, you get to completely skip its turn half the time, and receive 10% damage the other half. In the absence of djinn interference moves (like djinn storm) or status (such as stun or instant death), it's effectively impossible to lose. Except... it turns out that Dullahan, Doom Dragon, Valukar, and even the Flame Dragons all have djinn interference attacks! Only Sentinel and Star Magician lack any form of djinn interference, both of which will take excruciatingly long to kill using this strat.

Naturally, this is boring as hell and requires intricate setup ahead of time, so most players don't do it. And why would they? They could summon rush instead and KO even Dullahan in 3-4 turns. There is no fight in the game that is difficult enough to warrant such a strategy, with the most difficult fights even having something specifically to dissuade it, so players will instead trend toward using a setup that inflicts more damage.

---

As for the other "problem" you mentioned, of players spamming summons in normal battles: This isn't a problem in and of itself, but rather a symptom of a different problem. Players use summons on normal battles not because it's "broken," but because they're lazy. They don't actually want to fight battles, so they use the quickest, most efficient, and most consistent method available to them so they don't have to. That last one is important. Fleeing battles is actually faster than summon rushing them - if it succeeds. Fleeing often fails, however, so players get into the habit of fighting everything they come across, which means they have to resort to other means to clear it quickly. If flee consistently worked, players wouldn't feel the need to summon rush to clear encounters.

Another thing to note is that this "broken" strat involves the monotony of going into the djinn menu after every single battle to set up for the next one. If the player is willing to go to such extents to circumvent the expected gameplay pattern, may as well let them. Even if you did double recovery time, players would just shift to using djinn unleashes to kill enemies and then set them back after battle, which is just as sustainable as summon rushing, albeit slightly more involved and may not one-round.

---

As for your multiple health bar solution... this is effectively identical to simply reducing the percent HP modifier on summons. If you wanted to split a boss's health bar into two, it would be equivalent to halving the percent HP modifier. May as well cut to the chase and reduce the HP percent damage itself, rather than trying to do some fancy workaround for bosses.

---

And finally, the HP/PP cost proposal: this is highly problematic. Keeping psynergy and summon resources distinct is important for preserving both of their usefulness. If summons cost PP, it would just crowd out psynergy, rather than meaningfully limit summons. And making it cost HP would just feel bad. The cost would either be so low that you wonder why it's there in the first place, or it would be so high that you'd frequently kill yourself when trying to use it in a boss fight. There's no middle ground.

---

@Sala: I completely disagree with making multi-elemental summons more expensive. They're already weaker per djinni used than their mono-elemental counterparts. All of the multi-elementals of 6 cost or lower are pretty well balanced imo. It's only the 7+ djinn summons that are problematic, since they give a disproportionate amount of burst damage for summon rushing the bonus bosses. Essentially, these summons only exist to be abused by summon rushing, while the 6 and below summons are all plenty feasible for a conventional party to make use of. Even if they were made more expensive, it still wouldn't solve the issue of how much burst they can put out.
10  The Editor / Golden Sun Hacking / Re: [RELEASE] Golden Sun Reloaded on: July 23, 2017, 04:47:45 PM
...why didn't you just give ivan whirlwind as in innate psynergy?
11  Golden Sun Hacking Community / Feedback / Re: Clan Requests on: June 23, 2017, 11:19:13 PM
Yeah it basically just affects what name color you want
12  The Community / Introductions / Re: I'm new, please be gentle on: June 23, 2017, 06:45:21 AM
That title... are we talking about joining a forum or your first time having sex?

Joke's aside, welcome. We don't have as much going on here as we used to, but there's one or two active projects still. Enjoy your time here.
13  The Community / Open Discussion / Re: You are beautiful on: June 23, 2017, 01:42:40 AM
Wow, this topic even brought atrius back from the dead

(P.S. You messed up the embed link. It was supposed to be a .gif extension but you grabbed the .wepb.)

Spoiler for The image atrius meant to post:
14  The Community / Open Discussion / Re: You are beautiful on: June 22, 2017, 07:04:08 PM
Did someone say

A E S T H E T I C
15  The Editor / Golden Sun Hacking / Re: [RELEASE] Golden Sun Reloaded on: June 15, 2017, 07:43:36 PM
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That said, unless the recent changes to the PP formula had that much of an impact to those early djinn.

Honestly it wouldn't be surprising if suddenly inflicting an extra 10-15 damage broke some early fights. Unlike some games, characters in GS do not get significantly more powerful with levels, so being underleveled shouldn't change much. However, the combination of being underleveled plus the extra damage the djinni puts out, might be enough to put it over the edge. Bpat's party was probably ~10 HP under where you expect them to be, so in tandem with attacks doing another 10-15 damage from the maxPP bonus, that could easily hit a kill breakpoint.
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Cbox
August 20, 2017, 08:59:37 PM
Fox: Same... depending on whether they've used tricks instead or not.
August 20, 2017, 08:02:49 PM
Salanewt: I could see it counting.
August 20, 2017, 11:24:44 AM
Fox: Not sure if Zelda (LttP/Minish Cap) count or not...
August 20, 2017, 11:23:00 AM
Fox: Appararently, I can't think of many GBA games that do the psuedo-3D thing. (That being 2D maps with 3D-like collision...) Golden Sun and Superstar Saga come to mind, though... but I'll need to think about others, since it is quite possible i've simply forgotten....
August 19, 2017, 03:45:19 PM
Fox: Hmm... Thought: What if Isaac and co. weren't on Jupiter Lighthouse when Felix and co. were... I wonder if the story could have had a huge expansion, in this case.
August 18, 2017, 12:18:56 PM
Fox: Welcome back!
August 18, 2017, 09:12:43 AM
Luna_blade: back from vacation
August 17, 2017, 02:29:26 AM
Fox: That moment when you realize that there is a lot of chatting going on on Discord, that there is no point in trying to keep up. :P  Hm....
August 16, 2017, 04:50:22 AM
Fox: (Then again, just because posting is disabled, doesn't necessarily mean the buttons would be removed as well.)
August 16, 2017, 04:48:55 AM
Fox: (I mean, buttons I would expect to be similar to that.... rather than those specifically since I recall posting there to be disabled.)
August 16, 2017, 04:33:02 AM
Fox: Yeah... I like to think of it as a page loaded with ads. And it's not just the forum home page either... check the sub-forums/topics themselves. == New Topic/Reply/etc. buttons were affected.
August 15, 2017, 07:04:30 PM
Salanewt: Lol, nice. :P
August 15, 2017, 06:33:02 PM
Foxhttp://z9.invisionfree.com/Golden_Sun_Hacking/index.php? == Hahaha! GSHC Classic looks funny now that Photobucket killed the images. :P Anyway, how is everyone doing today?
August 14, 2017, 07:12:02 PM
Salanewt: So yeah, I'm typing up a non-academic essay on why GS2 was rushed; expect that sometime soon!
August 07, 2017, 05:53:11 AM
Fox: But anyway, such a hack mod is simply an idea, and I do not have any current plans to work on it at this time, so.....
August 07, 2017, 05:51:46 AM
Fox: Okay, cool. I think my idea works best without an ability to swap PCs (OR to just simply make that use it the PC's turn.) Hmmm... And with that, I question if a turn list is even needed with my approach. (Outside of maybe 1 entry, if that shortens the modifications.)
August 07, 2017, 05:13:26 AM
Salanewt: To be honest I've been thinking of expanding the battle turn section and also adding code for PCs to have more than two turns in the AI overhaul, but I probably won't allow anyone to have more than four.
August 06, 2017, 12:22:17 AM
Fox: Oh, and if that approach was taken = Would like to also have it so you select the spell to use when it is actually your turn rather than at round start.
August 06, 2017, 12:12:37 AM
Fox: Would take a lot of balancing, but I can see an adept being very slow, and yet very powerful.
August 06, 2017, 12:06:11 AM
Fox: And bosses can have an Agility that is above half of the maximum possible Agility. Mwahaha.

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