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Author Topic: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions  (Read 1127 times)
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« 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...

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

2) Does it have a good difficulty curve (not too tough, not too easy)?
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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!
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« Reply #1 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



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...

-------------------------

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
-------------------------

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 !
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 08:24:32 PM by Fionordequester » Logged
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« Reply #2 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 !
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« Reply #3 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.
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« Reply #4 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).
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« Reply #5 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.
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« Reply #6 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.)
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« Reply #7 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!
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 04:10:46 PM by Fionordequester » Logged
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« Reply #8 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)
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 05:44:08 PM by Fionordequester » Logged
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« Reply #9 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.
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« Reply #10 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.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 08:25:17 PM by Fionordequester » Logged
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« Reply #11 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.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 02:26:58 AM by Caledor » Logged
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« Reply #12 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.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 11:11:35 AM by leaf » Logged

Spoiler for quotes:
[9:00:50 PM] Randel Peltier: Ok...what did I do last night?
[9:01:19 PM] Kain: Something boring, repetitive, and lasted for about sixty seconds.
---
[10:45:08 AM] Salanewt: But yeah, the elemental phalluses are being... Stroked up by Saturos and co., and the energy will go towards... Mt. Muffin, where the Golden Climax will arise.
[7:28:42 PM] Salanewt: An added bonus is that Isaac and co. were trying to stop Saturos and co. because their beliefs state that Mt. Muffin should remain a virgin.
---
[9:54:21 PM] Randel Peltier: Guess the number in my head an you get to pick what I say. Number between 1-10
[9:54:28 PM] leaf: 11
[9:54:36 PM] Randel Peltier: @#$%!
---
[8:38:13 PM] Randel Peltier: Shes like this queen up on a pedastal that I have yet to court.
[8:38:29 PM] Kain: You've tried courting her.
[8:38:43 PM] leaf: and failed spectacularly
[8:38:44 PM] Randel Peltier: Ive tried...shes the best dating game ever.
---
[12:24:35 AM] Salanewt: I need to find a picture of a naked person to put on the Christmas tree next year.
---
[2:19:06 PM] Zeadra: wait... Rief's a guy???
---
[1:09:57 PM] Zeadra: well if you want to know if its a new effect or something weird, just check GS1, if side step is there maby it is the nimble dodge thing
[1:10:35 PM] Kioll: For once, you've contributed something useful.  o.O
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« Reply #13 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.

Quote
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.
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« Reply #14 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.
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Spoiler for quotes:
[9:00:50 PM] Randel Peltier: Ok...what did I do last night?
[9:01:19 PM] Kain: Something boring, repetitive, and lasted for about sixty seconds.
---
[10:45:08 AM] Salanewt: But yeah, the elemental phalluses are being... Stroked up by Saturos and co., and the energy will go towards... Mt. Muffin, where the Golden Climax will arise.
[7:28:42 PM] Salanewt: An added bonus is that Isaac and co. were trying to stop Saturos and co. because their beliefs state that Mt. Muffin should remain a virgin.
---
[9:54:21 PM] Randel Peltier: Guess the number in my head an you get to pick what I say. Number between 1-10
[9:54:28 PM] leaf: 11
[9:54:36 PM] Randel Peltier: @#$%!
---
[8:38:13 PM] Randel Peltier: Shes like this queen up on a pedastal that I have yet to court.
[8:38:29 PM] Kain: You've tried courting her.
[8:38:43 PM] leaf: and failed spectacularly
[8:38:44 PM] Randel Peltier: Ive tried...shes the best dating game ever.
---
[12:24:35 AM] Salanewt: I need to find a picture of a naked person to put on the Christmas tree next year.
---
[2:19:06 PM] Zeadra: wait... Rief's a guy???
---
[1:09:57 PM] Zeadra: well if you want to know if its a new effect or something weird, just check GS1, if side step is there maby it is the nimble dodge thing
[1:10:35 PM] Kioll: For once, you've contributed something useful.  o.O
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