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Author Topic: My Thoughts on Golden Sun - Reloaded: Discussions and Suggestions  (Read 1128 times)
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« Reply #30 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!
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 04:37:12 PM by Fionordequester » Logged
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« Reply #31 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!







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 Jupiter Power > 70 Jupiter Power

Ransack: Base physical damage + 36 Venus 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.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 05:33:04 AM by Fionordequester » Logged
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« Reply #32 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.
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« Reply #33 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 @#$%, then it doesn't matter how accessible something is if you only end up using it because "it's a damaging djinni."
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Spoiler for quotes:
[9:00:50 PM] Randel Peltier: Ok...what did I do last night?
[9:01:19 PM] Kain: Something boring, repetitive, and lasted for about sixty seconds.
---
[10:45:08 AM] Salanewt: But yeah, the elemental phalluses are being... Stroked up by Saturos and co., and the energy will go towards... Mt. Muffin, where the Golden Climax will arise.
[7:28:42 PM] Salanewt: An added bonus is that Isaac and co. were trying to stop Saturos and co. because their beliefs state that Mt. Muffin should remain a virgin.
---
[9:54:21 PM] Randel Peltier: Guess the number in my head an you get to pick what I say. Number between 1-10
[9:54:28 PM] leaf: 11
[9:54:36 PM] Randel Peltier: @#$%!
---
[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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« Reply #34 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.
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« Reply #35 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.
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« Reply #36 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.
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« Reply #37 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!
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« Reply #38 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.
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« Reply #39 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!
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