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Author Topic: GS1 Hack: Golden Sun Rebalance 2012  (Read 9306 times)
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« on: October 26, 2012, 04:52:44 AM »

GSHC Download Link: http://forum.goldensunhacking.net/index.php?action=downloads;sa=view;down=45
Mediafire Link: http://www.mediafire.com/?wqjy7e1nfg4trai
.xlr stat sheet for all enemies: http://www.mediafire.com/?a3p6c84275o53v5


Hi! You may know me from the Golden Sun Universe wiki, or you may remember me from over two years ago when I submitted a Golden Sun: The Lost Age ROM patch (http://forum.goldensunhacking.net/index.php?action=downloads;sa=view;down=9) made with this site's ROM editor. Well, I was working off-and-on throughout this year on a similar patch for the first Golden Sun, and I might as well share it now.

This is my Golden Sun Rebalance 2012 ROM patch, which is a serious approach to enemy rebalance with minimal changes to any of the game's other aspects. My goal is to make this feel as though it is an "official, public" version of the game that fell through a warp from a different dimension where Camelot is a more hardcore company with its games. I ultimately went through two separate playthroughs to construct this patch, the first to increase the stats and lay out the newly ordered ability lists for all the monsters, the second to finalize them and tone them down a bit. This is not what I would call an "ultimate hard-mode" - it's still doable without any class changes or grinding, and you can even beat it without getting all the Djinn. You might even find the difficulty quite tame, even though it is much more damaging to your party than the original game. But the idea is that this is supposed to feel like the game that the company itself released - maybe it's Golden Sun's Hard Mode, you decide - rather than just some fan piling on stats on the enemies. To this end, a few other things have been modified too.

Rebalanced, tougher gameplay with consistent enemy move orders:

Like my TLA hack, half of the primary theme of this patch is that enemy power and threat level throughout each of the areas in the game is made consistent and balanced around how almost every enemy in the game takes two actions per turn. But the other half, and my big new feature with this one, is that most of the enemies in the game cycle through their move lists in sequential order rather than randomly choosing them based on the Random Number Generator. This is achieved by selecting the fifth option in the Attack Pattern dropdown box in the editor, the second "Unknown pattern", which to the best of my knowledge is only used in the normal game by the Manticore boss.

With this, I tried a variety of different "feels" for the different enemies and bosses, with an emphasis on more powerful enemy abilities being cast fewer times and in patterns you can learn and predict, and made it so that each different enemy in a given area contributes a somewhat different kind of threat when it is present on the enemy side. Rounding out the opposition the enemies provide are that some abilities are modified while a few specific enemies have an ability replaced or a new ability added to their repitoire. (Deadbeard has a nasty new surprise for you...)

New item: Mountain Water:

A new item has been programmed into the unused item slot 179 that recreates the Khiren Water from Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (I couldn't name it Khiren Water due to string issues). Its consumable effect of replenishing 20 PP is achieved by copying the Use effect of the Adept's Ring, which has been increased from 7 PP.  None of the items in the game are changed otherwise. It can only be dropped off enemies - including each of the battled Djinn - and a large fraction of the enemies in the game have chances to drop this instead of the boring things they could drop otherwise. This is intended to counteract how in the early stages you can find yourself low on PP deep in a dungeon without any Psynergy Stone anywhere near the area, and using a Psy Crystal is overkill. You probably should sell off all the Mountain Waters you have in Lalivero if you're planning to use this file for password data transfer, though, because they don't exist in the second game.

Slightly increased leveling:

Enemy EXP is more consistent and thorough, but not by a huge amount - if a typical playthrough of the game gets you to the end at around level 26-27, this will certainly have you at the end by level 30.

Psynergy changes:

A few specific Psynergies have increased PP costs to better represent their obvious usefulness:
*Wish increased from 9 to 15
*Wish Well increased from 13 to 28
*Pure Wish increased from 20 to 50
*Pure Ply increased from 12 to 16
*Revive increased from 15 to 30
*Quick Strike increased from 12 to 24

Additionally, for all classes with the Wish series, the first stage of Wish is available one class stage earlier. Also, the first stage of Growth is available to the Squire class series, in accordance with Growth being available to your default Venus Adept class in Dark Dawn. And finally, the earliest Psynergies in the game like Ray have been toned down so that they don't thoroughly outpower physical strikes too much.

Text changes:

The descriptions of a lot of the gameplay elements have been clarified, like the Djinn battle effects, which pieces of gear are "common", the exact spells that Usable pieces of gear emulate, and the elements of the unleashes rather than the names. (Wouldn't discovering the names of the unleashes yourself have been more fun anyway? =D). There are also a few renamings here and there: Blast (Nova) is renamed to Starburst, Thunderstorm is renamed to Thunderhead, and Swordsman (Venus) is renamed to Crusader. Finally, a few little changes to the lore text have been made to correspond with what we know nowadays from the future games, such as what the old man in Imil is thinking, but it's mostly the contents of four bookcases throughout the game that have been changed. See if you can find them all!


I'm not really going to be looking out for critiques and feedback from players, and I'm probably only going to glance back here a couple more times, but you can play-and-review if you want.  Happy
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 06:36:31 PM by Erik the Appreciator » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2012, 06:57:49 PM »

Oh, interesting.  It's been a while since we've had a hack posted, and this one actually looks pretty interesting.  And a Remix patch, that's nice.

I'll check it out later on (will be busy this weekend), and look forward to what you do to TLA. :3
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2012, 09:26:13 PM »

That "attacks used in sequential order" thing will be very helpful for my hacks. Thanks for finding it! Previously, I'd relied on items to make the enemies use the attacks I wanted when I wanted them to.

Incidentally, I'll probably try this at some point. Giving enemies two actions per round seems kinda overkill though, at least if you do it to the human enemies as well, since that brings up the question of "why don't my characters get 2 actions per round?".
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2012, 12:47:31 AM »

Two actions per round sounds amazing. I've played golden sun one from start to finish about 30 times, 29 being 100% runs. I've felt while the game is fun, its really easy and can be done 100% at level 19 or lower. and where the max level cap is 99, you start to feel its a little too easy. And I don't like grinding, but I thing there should be at least a little bit. but sadly GS 1 can be done with zero grinding and most random battles skipped.

(makes me recall when I couldn't beat the first form of the final boss until level 59... i sucked then)
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2012, 05:19:45 AM »

Actually, giving foes multiple attacks seems to be a common thing for balance.  I know TNS did that as well, and I think someone else did too.  Personally, though, I don't really agree with that method, prefering other methods myself...
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2012, 01:05:58 PM »

Same here. Giving every single enemy multiple attacks makes it feel like the PCs need extra attacks, too. Otherwise, it brings up the question of "why are the player characters so slow?" My preferred method of balance is to try and make the enemies fight strategically. Ordinarily, that's pretty difficult with everything being decided by RNG, but with that new AI style... I need to see what happens with the first "Unknown Pattern", as well. Anyway, with that sequential attack pattern, I can finally make the Bronze Armour boss work properly! (Before, I'd given it a move that drain its own PP meter entirely, and then it would regenerate it over the course of 10 turns, and then every turn after that it MIGHT decided to blow one of your party members up with its instant-death attack that instantly ends the combat round, and then the process starts over. Now, at least, it'll be a lot more predictable, and thus a lot more blockable, thanks to Smoke Bombs.)

Although, a lot of my hacks feature various drastic changes to the battle system, such as flinching on all single-target attacks, the Defend command actually being pretty much mandatory for survival, etc. Though I've run into trouble trying to make other, even more drastic changes (Defend command confers immunity to status effects, character regens 1 PP when hit while Defending, character regens 5 PP when they dodge an attack, etc.)
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2012, 08:43:17 PM »

Personally, I'm in favor of raising enemy stats and having enemy families have certain roles they follow - some will often inflict ailments, some play support, some are tankish, etc.  Basically, making you think a little more than usual.  Now, they should still only take 2-3 turns to take down at target levels, but this way it changes battle up a bit to keep it fresh and interesting.

Of course, many of my changes require the ability to modify formulas (especially summons), as well as the ability to tweak monster AI a bit, so that's still a bit off.
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2012, 08:59:01 PM »

if there's anything that needs rebalancing its this:

Player tries to run but fails
Enemy tries to escape but fails
Player tries to run but fails
Enemy tries to escape but fails
Player runs

Why when both me and the enemy want to run are we not able too?
This isn't common but I've had it happen in quite a few play through's, and I've had it go back and forth up to 6 times. Rebalancing run stat anyone?
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September 20, 2019, 12:46:14 AM
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September 10, 2019, 12:56:51 PM
Fox: Small corrections = If those images were uploaded via an account, you can still get them ... but Sept 16 is the last day.
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Fox: (Someone else discovered that, not me.)
August 12, 2019, 11:33:42 PM
Fox: So um. It looks like abilties in the class editor are being put back in as a byte for GS1?
August 12, 2019, 08:02:58 PM
Fox: Also, it seems most of us have moved to the Discord. In case if you were wondering where the forums activity went. Maybe come by and check it out. But it is just a suggestion, you don't have to.
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July 06, 2019, 03:44:41 AM
Salanewt: Oh, yeah there isn't an animation overhaul for GS1 sadly.

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