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Author Topic: Golden Sun Class Transmutation Hack (1.5 Update, now with TBS version!)  (Read 2952 times)
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« on: 29, May, 2021, 02:46:55 AM »

[NOTE - The previously released version of TLA 1.5 was mistakenly an earlier, unfinished version with several errors.  This only affects the TLA version - the TBS version is fine.  The correct TLA version (1.5f) has been uploaded with the filename "TLA Class Transmutation 1.5f"]

The Golden Sun Class Transmutation Hack is a hack of the GBA Golden Sun games with the main goal of overhauling the structure of the class system, especially as it pertains to 3-element classes.  The hack also makes some changes to Psynergy, adding several brand-new Psynergy series and re-balancing existing Psynergy series with the intention of making more Psynergy series viable.  Some other changes have also been made, including some very minor map changes to address oversights and annoyances, and the odd quality-of-life change, such as making Djinn not flee from battles, increasing the character limit for names, etc.

This hack is now available for both the first game (TBS) and The Lost Age (TLA).  The TBS version has some limitations; since it includes numerous Psynergy which were originally introduced in TLA, these spells use placeholder animations from the first game since their TLA animations are not available.  Additionally, some spells currently have different names than their TLA counterparts, due to text compression not allowing certain strings in TBS.

This is not a hack that seeks to rebalance the entire game, increase the difficulty, or to significantly change the content of the games.  Instead, this is a sort of 'proof-of-concept' for a re-imagined class system.  Compared to vanilla GS, the class system's overall structure has been changed.  The Djinn requirements for various kinds of classes have been tweaked and standardized; there are now more classes available to Adepts, classes are more distinct from one another, and 3-element classes in particular have been altered and expanded so that every Adept has access to significantly more 3-element classes.  Additionally, new Psynergy have been added, largely to flesh out the newly added classes as well as to give more balanced options to the existing classes.  The various Psynergy in the game have been rebalanced in order to make weak Psynergy series more viable and to make different Psynergy series more distinct.  For instance, Psynergy can now have different damage distributions.  There have also been various tweaks to the game which should improve quality-of-life as well as to adjust the balance of elements of the game which may have been thrown out of step due to the class and Psynergy changes; however, the tweaks have been applied with the intention of largely preserving the difficulty and balance of the vanilla game - again, this hack is not intended to be a "challenge" hack.  Since this hack does not offer large changes to the difficulty of the games, and the significant changes are mostly in the 2-element and 3-element classes, this hack may not be for everyone; however, I hope that it might prove interesting to some players, especially those veterans who know a lot about the class system.

 Jupiter Djinni Downloads: Version 1.5 is the newest version of the hack, and the first version of the hack available for the first game.  1.5f is a fixed version of the TLA patch only, which was accidentally released as an older version with several errors.  Since downloads are not currently functional on the site, for the time being these hacks will be hosted off-site here:

GS1/TBS Version 1.5:
GS2/TLA Version 1.5f:

 Mercury Djinni Changes from Previous Versions: In case you want to know what's changed with each update, here are in-depth changelogs for each version.
Spoiler for Changes from Previous Versions:

Changes from Version 1.2 -> 1.5:
Spoiler for 1.3 Changelog:
Starting with version 1.5, the TBS/GS1 version of the Class Transmutation Hack is available!  Although this is the first version of the TBS iteration to be released, for simplicity its version numbers will be shared with the TLA version, so TBS version 1.5 will be the first release of the version for the first game.

Version 1.5 notably overhauls Psynergy ranges and damage distributions - more details below.  The update also comes with an assortment of small quality-of-life changes, such as some minor map tweaks to fix oversights (more details are in the general changelog), the character limit for character names being increased, some translation errors in the script and in attack names being fixed, etc.

Many Psynergy series have been altered so that their ranges and damage distributions are more unique.  For instance, some Psynergy series now target the entire enemy party, or use a more sharply diminishing damage distribution.  Additionally, every Psynergy in a Psynergy series now has the same range and damage distribution; ranges no longer grow with further stages of Psynergy series (in vanilla, by endgame this made many series feel samey, redundant, or outclassed since they would all grow to have more range than the vast majority of enemy parties would provide).  Many Psynergy have had their power tweaked to accommodate these changes.  The spreadsheet of data on the game now lists the damage distribution of each spell.

The "Harvest" Psynergy series is a particularly significant example of this change; now, instead of targeting 3 party members, it targets the entire party, but the "center" party member recovers the full HP recovery of the spell, while the 3 other members recover 50% as much HP.  This lets you fortify the entire party but also choose a particular target who might be particularly low on health.  This is how the spell was originally envisioned, but only recently was I able to implement it as such.

Healing in general has been tweaked; the highest tier of all heals is now 2.5x as potent as the middle tier, rather than 2.0, which makes some spells more similar in progression to their vanilla counterparts.  Single-target heals have been buffed slightly, and multi-target heals have been nerfed slightly, especially Aura and Harvest, which are now envisioned as sort of "B-tier" group heals in comparison to the "A-tier" Wish; this is in part because the changes to the class system significantly expanded access to group heals.

New Psynergy - "First Aid" - a Jupiter spell which restores 30% of HP plus a bit more for a low PP cost.  This was given to the Seer and Hermit class series, who otherwise only learn multi-target heals, so that they still have healing access in lower class tiers, because these classes were fairly underwhelming at low tiers due to lack of healing.  The Hermit series has lost access to Break in order to make room, unfortunately.

Two class series received buffs: the Protector class series gained +10% Defense in all tiers, and the Radiant class series gained +10% Attack in all tiers.

An earlier update was supposed to nerf the Serpent by replacing Quake Sphere with Earthquake.  However, due to an oversight, this change wasn't applied on the version of the Serpent which is fought with all 4 lights turned on, which is the one most players will be fighting, meaning the change didn't really take effect properly.  This has been fixed, and the Serpent has Earthquake instead of Quake Sphere in all forms.

Changes from Version 1.1 -> Version 1.2:
Spoiler for 1.2 Changelog:
Version 1.2 corrects several errors while also making some slight balance tweaks to account for new and changed mechanics in order to bring the game balance more in line with vanilla GS.  Full changelog below:

Due to an oversight, the Raging Heat series was not tweaked along with the rest of the Psynergy in previous versions; this has been fixed, though the effects aren't very large as the Psynergy series was already quite powerful.
Raging Heat - Power: 45 -> 50, PP Cost: 9 (Unchanged)
Fiery Abyss - Power: 90 -> 100, PP Cost: 18 (Unchanged)
Dire Inferno - Power: 200 (Unchanged), PP Cost: 32 -> 36

Reanimate has been adjusted to be even more expensive in order to balance out its potent effect.
Reanimate - PP Cost: 50 -> 66

Caster - a 1st tier class - could access Revive in previous versions, which was an oversight since only 2nd tier classes and up should be able to access Revive.  Revive has been removed from Caster's learnset, fixing this oversight.

The "Priest" class was renamed "Monk" for stylistic reasons and to make the class series' class names a bit closer to the vanilla class names.

Djinn who must be battled will no longer flee.  This change doesn't have much to do with the rest of the hack, but it's such an annoyance in vanilla that I felt the need to change it anyway.  A few late-game Djinn now use some of the newly added Psynergy in place of what was once their flee command.

The Serpent now has Earthquake instead of Quake Sphere.  Because the Quake series was by far the weakest Psynergy series in vanilla, it got a pretty massive buff in the hack, essentially doubling in power; thus, the new Earthquake is as powerful as the old Quake Sphere was.  Thus, this change essentially restores the Serpent's arsenal to its original strength, since having the new-and-improved Quake Sphere was too potent of a buff to its damage output.

Changes from Version 1.0 -> Version 1.1:
Spoiler for 1.1 Changelog:
Version 1.1 mostly makes small balance adjustments and also buffs early-game enemies to offset the significant puffs to early-game Psynergy by increasing their HP.  Full changelog below:

Class Series Changes:
  • Protector series: gets Harvest instead of Wish
  • Radiant series: gets Aura instead of Wish
  • Sorcerer: +10% Attack in all tiers
  • Exalted: +10% Luck in all tiers
  • Pioneer: +10% PP in all tiers
  • Guru: +10% Attack in all tiers
  • Onmyouji: +10% Defense in all tiers
  • Bard: +10% HP in all tiers, +10% Defense in all tiers

Psynergy Changes:
3-element Variant Buffs - These are now slightly cheaper, in order to somewhat distinguish them from their standard counterparts
  • Demon Spear: 7 -> 6 PP
  • Angel Spear: 14 -> 12 PP
  • Guardian: 4 -> 3 PP
  • Protector: 8 -> 6 PP
  • Magic Shell: 4 -> 3 PP
  • Magic Shield: 8 -> 6 PP
Demon Flash series - Base Power was significantly reduced for the whole series
  • Demon Flash: 70 -> 55 Base Power
  • Unholy Flash: 135 -> 110 Base Power
  • Satanic Flash: 270 -> 220 Base Power

Enemy Changes:
Early game enemies received HP buffs to counteract the buffs given to very-early-game Psynergy, up through the enemies introduced in Yampi Desert.

Random Encounter Enemies:
  • +50% HP: Punch Ant, Wild Wolf, Giant Bat, Angle Worm, Amaze, Ghost, Skeleton, Mini-Goblin, Rat Soldier
  • +25% HP: Will Head, Troll, Drone Bee, Rat, Momonga, Dino, Kobold, Emu, Spider, Gnome

Boss Encounters:
  • Kandorean Temple Mimic: 207 -> 300 HP
  • Chestbeaters: 155 -> 220 HP (each)
  • King Scorpion: 1064 -> 1200 HP

 Mars Djinni Screenshots:
Some old and new classes feature brand-new PsynergyDjinn setups like this one are possible due to overhauled 3-element classesThe TBS version features some formerly TLA-exclusive Psynergy (though lacks their animations...)

 Venus Djinni Set  Mars Djinni Set  Jupiter Djinni Set  Mercury Djinni Set About the Hack:

Before launching into a more in-depth changelist for the entire hack, here's a quick overview of what the hack changes and adds:

  • New mono-element classes for Felix and Sheba to differentiate them from Isaac and Ivan
  • New two-element classes have been introduced, essentially splitting the "Brute" and "Hermit" series each into two different class series
  • Adepts can now reach the final stage of their 2-element "Partial Classes", rather than being restricted to the second-to-best tier at most
  • 3-element classes have been overhauled, and many more have been added - Adepts have drastically more access to 3-element classes, with each Adept having complete access to 6 different 3-element classes - 2 of each possible 3-element combination - giving them access to twice as many complete 3-element class series as in vanilla
  • Psynergy has been re-balanced across the board - underpowered Psynergy series have been buffed and adjustments and standardizations have been made to the power, PP costs, learn levels, range, and damage distribution of Psynergy.
  • Brand new Psynergy added, most of which are introduced to give each 3-element class at LEAST one unique spell, to bring them more in line with the very-unique Ninja and Samurai classes in vanilla
  • Item classes are removed, for various reasons - more info on why to follow
  • Early-game enemies have increased HP to account for early-game Psynergy buffs; enemies are otherwise mostly untouched.
  • A few oversights and annoyances were fixed in a few areas, namely in the script and on a few maps; for instance, inconsistent character names between games have been fixed.

I've compiled an in-depth spreadsheet containing info about the contents of the hack, mostly focusing on the class system.
The spreadsheet gives many details, including:

  • A listing of all classes in the game and their Psynergy arsenals
  • A reference for which classes are available to each Adept
  • Detailed stats for every single class
  • Stats for every usable Psynergy in the game, including base power, PP cost, range, damage distribution, and the level it's learned at
  • Full class access charts for Adepts of all elements

The rest of this post will be dedicated to providing a more comprehensive list of the additions and modifications.  First, I'll cover the changes made to various types of class series; then, I'll give an in-depth technical explanation of what I actually changed about the class system (this replaces a previous explanation which specifically focused on 3-element classes, which I thought was frankly not very good.  I hope this new explanation is more illuminating)

 Venus Djinni General Class standardization:

- The number of Djinn required to reach a given "Tier" of a class has been standardized between mono-element, 2-element, and 3-element classes.  Across the board: 1 Djinni is required to reach Tier 1, 3 Djinn are required to reach Tier 2, 5 Djinn are required to reach Tier 3, 7 Djinn are required to reach Tier 4, and 9 Djinn are required to reach Tier 5.  The only exceptions are Partial/Alternate classes, which may require 1 more Djinni per tier.  3-element classes lack the 1st and 2nd tiers.

- This standardization means the Djinn requirements for many classes have changed; it also notably means that 3-element classes can be accessed slightly earlier, with only 5 Djinn required to access their earliest available tiers.

 Jupiter Djinni Changes to mono-element classes:

- In TLA, Felix and Sheba now have unique mono-elemental classes distinct from Isaac and Ivan's class series, rather than only Jenna and Piers having their own unique mono-element lines.

- There is now a new "Tier 0" mono-element class for each element, which is shared between both Adepts of that element - in other words, Adepts of the same element do not get distinctive mono-element class series until they set at least one Djinn of their innate element.  For example - both Garet and Jenna will be in the "Tier 0" class "Fire Adept" when they have 0 Djinn set.  But if you set a single Mars Djinn to them, Garet will switch to his unique Tier 1 "Guard" class, whereas Jenna will switch to her unique Tier 1 "Flame User" class.

 Mars Djinni   Mercury Djinni Changes to 2-element classes:

- All 2-element classes now have 5 Tiers - in vanilla, Brute and Hermit uniquely had 6.

- Brute and Hermit have each been 'split' into two different classes, with one being more readily available to each element.  For instance, Brute has been split into "Scavenger", readily accessible to Venus Adepts, and "Brute", readily accessible to Mars Adepts, with the other class now being available as a Partial/Alternate class for each.  In other words, with respect to 2-element classes, the Venus/Mars and Jupiter/Mercury combinations now work like any other combination does in vanilla.

- 2-element class series have been tweaked to make them more distinct from each other.  Class series that once shared some or all of their names have been altered to be entirely disjoint.  Additionally, changes to available Psynergy and minor tweaks to stat spreads have been made to make these classes more distinct from their counterparts, as well as to add some brand new Psynergy.

- "Partial" classes can now be accessed with slightly less Djinn investment.  This means Adepts can now reach the final stage of Partial classes, making them a bit less "Partial" - the first stage of Partial/Alternate class series is still inaccessible, however.

 Venus Djinni  Mars Djinni  Jupiter DjinniChanges to 3-element classes:

- 3-element classes have received the most extensive changes and expansions in the hack by a considerable margin.

- There are now significantly more 3-element classes.  In vanilla, each combination of 3 elements had either 1 or 2 class series associated with it.  For instance, there were two Venus/Mars/Jupiter class series - the Ninja series and Samurai series - but there was only one Venus/Mars/Mercury class series - the Dragoon series.  In the Class Transmutation hack, each combination of 3 elements has THREE different class series associated with it, meaning in total there are TWICE as many 3-element class series as in vanilla.  As such, many of these class series are essentially brand new, such as the Ruler, Pirate, and Time Mage class series.

- All twelve 3-element class series now have 3 tiers each - specifically, each has a 3rd, 4th, and 5th tier variant.  In vanilla, the Samurai and White Mage lines only had 2 tiers.

- All 3-element class series now have at least one Psynergy that's completely unique to their line, with some having several - this is to try and make the rest of the 3-element classes feel a little bit more like Ninja and Samurai, which were blessed in vanilla with many, many unique Psynergies.  Some of the "unique" Psynergies of these classes were re-purposed from Psynergy which used to be exclusive to the now-removed item-dependent classes.

- All Adepts can fully access two different 3-element class series for each combination of 3 elements.  So, for instance, in vanilla GS, Venus Adepts could only partially access the Venus/Jupiter/Mercury Medium series.  But in the Class Transmutation Hack, Venus Adepts have full access to two complete Venus/Jupiter/Mercury classes - a modified Medium class series and the brand new Dissident class series.

 Mercury Djinni Class System Modifications - In Detail:

I'd like to explain exactly how the class system was changed in this hack.  This explanation will be very long and technical, so I'll stick it under a spoiler tag.  This explanation replaces an earlier explanation focusing on 3-element classes which I didn't really like, so I threw it out and wrote this one.

Spoiler for New Class System Details:

Although the Class Transmutation Hack changes the structure of the class system, the general algorithm for how classes are assigned hasn't been changed - minus one small exception - rather, the changes are mostly a result of changes to the Class Type table (which is essentially what gives the class system its structure).  However, I don't think it would be sufficient to just explain the changes to this table; in order to give an explanation that I think is satisfactory, I'll need to explain three things: 1. How classes are assigned in Golden Sun, 2. Vanilla Golden Sun's class structure, and 3. The Class Transmutation Hack's class structure.  However, if you happen to already know about Golden Sun's class system inside and out, you should be able to skip right to Part 3.

Before I begin, let's quickly make note of some elemental relationships, because these turn out to be important in a few ways.  Every element has a "symbiotic" element - Venus and Mars are symbiotic with each other, and Jupiter and Mercury are as well.  Every element also has an "opposite" element - Venus and Jupiter are opposite, as are Mars and Mercury.  For each element, this leaves one remaining element which they bear neither relation to, i.e. Venus is neither symbiotic with nor opposite to Mercury; Mars and Jupiter are the other pair.  I call these "antisymbiotic" elements, and have also seen them described as "neutral" elements in the fandom.

Part 1. How classes are assigned in Golden Sun

In this section I'll explain how the game decides which class each Adept should be in.  I'll try to keep this section concise; as a result, I might gloss over some details.  For more detailed info on this topic you can check out this post and the rest of that thread (finding it was a huge help when creating this hack - big thanks to Atrius and everyone who contributed to that thread).

To assign a class to an Adept, the first thing you need to do is find their "eLevel" in each element.  An Adept gets 5 eLevels in their innate element, and then for each Djinn they have set, they get +1 eLevel in the corresponding element.  For a quick example, Isaac with 1 Venus Djinni and 3 Jupiter Djinn will have 6 Venus eLevels, 3 Jupiter eLevels, and 0 Mars and Mercury eLevels.

Next, you need to find their highest and second-highest eLevels - I call this their "eLevel ranking".  There is a special case here - if an Adept only has one eLevel which is 1 or higher, that element will count as both their highest and second-highest eLevel.  Using Isaac with the same Djinn as the previous example, his highest and second-highest eLevels are Venus and Jupiter respectively.

If two eLevels are equal, the tie is broken in a consistent way based on the innate element of the character.  Their innate element is prioritized the highest; after that is the element that's 'antisymbiotic' or 'neutral' to their innate element; after that is the element opposite to their innate element, and finally the element symbiotic to their innate element is prioritized the lowest.  The way this is actually achieved in the game is by simply giving each character decimal eLevels, e.g. Isaac actually innately has 5.4 Venus eLevels, 0.3 Mercury eLevels, 0.2 Jupiter eLevels, and 0.1 Mars eLevels.

Once you've found the eLevel rankings, you simply need to consult the Class Type table to see what the Adept's Class Type will be.  For instance, checking the table will tell you that a highest eLevel of Venus and a second-highest eLevel of Jupiter puts an Adept in Class Type 5.  A "Class Type" is a broad category of classes which usually contains several Class Series (which themselves contain several classes).  For example, in vanilla, both of the two Pilgrim class series as well as the Ranger series all share the same Class Type.  This Class Type table is essentially what determines the structure of the class system; in parts 2 and 3 I'll go into what I mean by this, and what that structure looks like in both vanilla GS as well as the hack.

Now that you've assigned the Adept a Class Type, it's now time to actually assign them a class from the class list (i.e. the list of every single class in the game).  Each class has its own Class Type as well as a list of eLevel requirements.  If an Adept was assigned the same Class Type as the class, and they meet the eLevel requirements for that class, then they are qualified for that class; Adepts are ultimately assigned to the last class in the class list which they are qualified for.  This means class assignment is technically somewhat dependent on the order that classes are listed in within the game.  In practice, this Adept's will be assigned the class of the highest possible tier within a class series, and prioritizing 3-element class series over 2-element ones, because classes are listed in ascending order of tier within their Class Series and 3-element classes are always listed after 2-element classes within their Class Type.

One thing that's important to understand about this system is that meeting the eLevel requirement for a class isn't enough - the Class Type also has to match too, and the structure of the Class Type chart is not necessarily such that these two factors will coincide - there are a fair number of cases where Adepts meet the eLevel requirement for a class but can't access it due to Class Type.

So, to review all of this - an Adept's highest and second-highest eLevels are found.  These are used to assign them a Class Type based on a table.  They are then placed in the 'strongest' class which their Class Type matches and for which they meet the eLevel requirements.

Part 2. Vanilla Golden Sun's class structure

While part 1 describes the algorithm for assigning classes, the actual structure of the class system is determined by the nature of the Class Type table, as well as what sorts of classes actually exist within the game.  This section will describe that structure, as well as some of its consequences, and how these consequences inspired my hack.

I think it will be more clear what I mean once we have a look at the Class Type table as it is in the vanilla games: (small note - in the actual code it's in a slightly different order, but I find it to be more natural to be listed this way)
      2nd-Highest eLevel →
↓ Highest eLevel
Venus VenusMars MarsJupiter JupiterMercury Mercury
Venus Venus1453
Mars Mars4253
Jupiter Jupiter89710
Mercury Mercury89106

There are many things to notice about this chart.  The first thing I want to point out is that the only combinations of elements with unique Class Types are the ones with the same element in the highest and second-highest position.  Recall that these correspond to having only one eLevel that's at least 1, which means that these Class Types - 1, 2, 6, and 7 - are the Class Types corresponding to mono-element classes (since the only way to avoid raising any other eLevel above 0 is to only set Djinn corresponding to the Adept's innate element).

All other Class Types are 'shared', in the sense that there is always more than one combination of highest and second-highest element which will lead to that Class Type.  E.g. Class Type 9 results from either Jupiter 1st and Mars 2nd, or Mercury 1st and Mars 2nd.  There are two patterns for how Class Types are shared, and they're actually based on symbiotic pairs.  Let's look at these one at a time.

If both of an Adept's highest and second-highest eLevels are symbiotic with each other, then they'll be put in a Class Type corresponding to that symbiotic pair, regardless of which order the elements are in.  For instance; Venus and Mars are a symbiotic pair; whether an Adept has Venus 1st and Mars 2nd, or Mars 1st and Venus 2nd, they'll be placed in Class Type 4.  Note that the two symbiotic pairs are the only case where this is true - in other cases, reversing the order of the elements changes the class type.

The rest of the 'shared' Class Types are a bit stranger.  Two combinations of non-symbiotic pairs of elements will share a Class Type if their second-highest element is the same, and their highest element is from the same symbiotic pair.  This is complicated to describe in words, but I think it's actually fairly easy to see by just looking at the chart - Class Types tend to line up vertically, meaning they have the same second-highest element, but different highest elements.  For instance, Venus 1st Jupiter 2nd is Class Type 3, and Mars 1st Jupiter 2nd is also Class Type 3 - they have the same second-highest element and symbiotic highest elements.

The way 2-element classes work in-game corresponds pretty neatly to these relationships - because of this, I think that exploring the class structure in terms of 2-element classes and how Adepts can access them is a natural way to explore the Class Type Structure.  

If Isaac sets Mars Djinn, he'll be in the Brute series; if Garet sets Venus Djinn, he'll also be in the Brute series.  They share this class series because the Venus/Mars symbiotic pair assigns Adepts to the same class type regardless of which order the eLevels are in.

Meanwhile, if Isaac sets Jupiter Djinn, he'll be in the Apprentice series.  If Garet sets Jupiter Djinn, he'll be in the Page series, which is a very similar class series to the Apprentice series, sharing many Psynergy and the same stat bonuses.  This is because the Apprentice and Page series are in the same Class Type.  Indeed, all of the similar class series are in the same Class Type; both Seer series share a Class Type, as do both Pilgrim series, etc.

While Isaac with a few Jupiter Djinn set will be in the Apprentice class series, Ivan with a few Venus Djinn set will be in the Seer class series.  This is because Venus and Jupiter are not symbiotic, so they don't 'share' a Class Type - Venus 1st and Jupiter 2nd puts an Adept in a different Class Type than the other way around.  However, this has an interesting effect - if Isaac sets 6 Jupiter Djinn, his Jupiter eLevel will be 6 and his Venus eLevel will be 5, meaning his eLevel ranking will flip, and thus he will become a different Class Type and switch from the Apprentice series to the Seer series.  This is why "Partial Classes" exist for all non-symbiotic elements - if an Adept sets enough Djinn of a non-symbiotic element, their Class Type will change to reflect that new element now being in 1st place in their eLevel ranking.

Based on all this, one way to characterize each Class Type (not counting the mono-element Class Types) is that each Class Type corresponds to an eLevel ranking of the following format: In first place, one of the elements from a particular symbiotic pair; in second place, either a particular element outside the symbiotic pair, or the other element in the symbiotic pair.  Again, this is awkward to describe in words, but if I list each Class Type, I hope it will become clear what I mean:

Venus or Mars first, Jupiter second = Class Type 5 = Apprentice and Page series
Venus or Mars first, Mercury second = Class Type 3 = Both Swordsman series
Venus and Mars first and second (in either order) = Class Type 4 = Brute series
Jupiter or Mercury first, Venus second = Class Type 8 = Both Seer series
Jupiter or Mercury first, Mars second = Class Type 9 = Both Pilgrim series
Jupiter and Mercury first and second (in either order) = Class Type 10 = Hermit series

Now, let's look at 3-element class series.  Of course, access to these classes is also impacted by the Class Type structure.  But to understand what sorts of 3-element classes exist and how to access them, I think it's better to look at some particular examples rather than to simply sort the existing classes into Class Types.  So, this time, I'm going to focus in on two particular class series to use as an example - the Ninja and Samurai class series.  Both of these class series have the same combination of elements - Venus, Mars, and Jupiter.  The Samurai series is Class Type 4, meaning it's in the same Class Type as the Brute series.  Ninja, on the other hand, is Class Type 5, meaning it's in the same Class Type as both the Apprentice and Page series.  This has some interesting implications in terms of which Adepts can access these class series.  

Let's start with Ninja - in order to access the Ninja series, an Adept needs to be in Class Type 5, which means that they need to have either Venus or Mars as their highest eLevel, and Jupiter as their second-highest eLevel.  Then, of course, they also need to meet the eLevel requirement, which requires 3 eLevels in each element.  Venus Adepts can achieve this pretty easily - their Venus eLevel is innately their highest, so all they need to do is to get Jupiter into second place and then set enough Mars Djinn to meet Ninja's requirements.  Setting 3 Jupiter Djinn to get Jupiter into 2nd, and 3 Mars Djinn to meet the eLevel requirement will do the trick.  For Mars Adepts, it's the same story - just with Mars and Venus reversed.  But for Jupiter Adepts, it's different.  Since they innately have 5 eLevels in Jupiter, they need to set a whopping 6 Djinn - either 6 Venus Djinn or 6 Mars Djinn - in order to raise the corresponding eLevel high enough to be in first place in order to be in Class Type 5.  Then, in order to satisfy the eLevel requirements for Ninja, they need to set 3 more Djinn of the remaining element, which is 9 Djinn total.  This is why Jupiter Adepts can access Ninja as a weird partial class in two different ways with a whopping 9 Djinn - unlike the other Adepts who can access Ninja, they need to get a non-innate eLevel above their own, which can be either Venus or Mars.

The Samurai series is a similar story, but it's even worse for Jupiter Adepts.  Samurai is Class Type 4, which requires Venus and Mars to be the highest eLevels in either order.  Again, Venus and Mars Adepts can do this easily, since both of their innate elements already work towards this requirement.  But for a Jupiter Adept to access Samurai, they would somehow need to raise both their Venus and Mars eLevels above their Jupiter one, which would require 6 Djinn of each element, i.e. 12 total, which is impossible.  So Jupiter Adepts can't even access Samurai as a partial class like they can access Ninja (unless you use cheats, hacks, exploits, etc to give them 12 Djinn).

This is how 3-element classes work in general - out of the 3 elements involved, the symbiotic pair is the most important, and one element from that pair needs to be the highest eLevel in order to reach that class.  Then, either the third element OR the remaining element in the symbiotic pair needs to be in 2nd.  Finally, since a third element is still required (these are 3-element classes after all), you can think of that remaining element as being the third-place eLevel.  To illustrate this, here's a list of all the 3-element classes in the game and their corresponding eLevel rankings:

Class SeriesClass TypeHighest eLevel2nd Highest eLevel3rd Highest eLevel
Ninja Series5Venus or MarsJupiterMars or Venus
Samurai Series4Venus or MarsMars or VenusJupiter
Dragoon Series3Venus or MarsMercuryMars or Venus
Medium Series8Jupiter or MercuryVenusMercury or Jupiter
White Mage Series8Jupiter or MercuryMercury or JupiterVenus
Ranger Series9Jupiter or MercuryMarsMercury or Jupiter

The pattern established here really seems to suggest that the following two class series should also exist - and they'd be really easy to add in if you designed them - but... they don't exist, for whatever reason.  Some hacks do add in these class series, however, such as the popular Reloaded hacks (which do a quite good job coming up with class series for these spots, in my opinion):

Class SeriesClass TypeHighest eLevel2nd Highest eLevel3rd Highest eLevel
"Missing" Class Series3Venus or MarsMars or VenusMercury
"Missing" Class Series9Jupiter or MercuryMercury or JupiterMars

To summarize, 3-element classes - like the Class Types they belong to - are characterized by their symbiotic pairs.  An Adept can only fully access a class if their innate element is in the class series' symbiotic pair.  Adepts of an element NOT in that symbiotic pair only have partial access to those classes at best.  Every symbiotic pair has only 3 corresponding 3-element class series, which means that each Adept only has full access to 3 different 3-element class series (or 4 if those 'missing' class series were added).  This always struck me as too limiting - there are so many ways to combine elements that each Adept only having access to 3 seemed unnecessarily limiting to me.  This fact was notably the main inspiration for the Class Transmutation Hack.

Part 3. The Class Transmutation Hack's class structure

The changes to the class system in the Class Transmutation Hack are mainly due to a total overhaul of the Class Type table.  Here is the table as it appears in the hack:

      2nd-Highest eLevel →
↓ Highest eLevel
Venus VenusMars MarsJupiter JupiterMercury Mercury
Venus Venus1579
Mars Mars621113
Jupiter Jupiter812315
Mercury Mercury1014164

The most important thing to notice with this new table is that there are NO 'shared' Class Types - that is, every combination of highest and second-highest eLevels has a unique Class Type.

What this means is that the class system's structure is no longer based on elemental symbiosis to any extent.  This has several effects.

One effect is that 2-element class series are no longer shared between Adepts of different elements.  Whereas in vanilla, Isaac with Mars Djinn and Garet with Venus Djinn would both be Brutes due to a shared Class Type, they now each get their own class series - Isaac with Mars Djinn will be in the new "Scavenger" class series, while Garet with Venus Djinn will be in the class which has inherited the "Brute" name.

A directly corresponding effect is that Adepts now have "Partial Classes" for each possible element they can set.  For instance, Isaac can access the higher tiers of the "Brute" series if he sets enough Mars Djinn to overcome his innate Venus eLevels.

In general, this all means that the structure of 2-element class series is the same for all pairs of elements, rather than having special behavior for symbiotic pairs.

Although 2-element class series are no longer shared between Adepts of symbiotic elements in this hack, 3-element class series notably ARE still shared somewhat, though doing this required a little trickery.  Indeed, the sharing of 3-element class series was one of the advantages of the way the original games implemented things - for instance, Venus Adepts and Mars Adepts could painlessly share their 3-element class series - namely, Ninja, Samurai, and Dragoon - without issue.

Achieving this required a change of how 3-element classes are defined.  As described in Part 2, in vanilla GS, 3-element classes were essentially defined by a symbiotic pair as their primary element and another element as their secondary element.  This concept has been sort of 'generalized' in the Class Transmutation hack - now, each 3-element class is defined by a pair of elements as their primary elements, plus another tertiary element; however, the primary pair of elements does not have to be symbiotic.

One way to think about this is that while vanilla had "Venus-Mars" classes and "Jupiter-Mercury" classes, the Class Transmutation Hack has more diversity - it has "Venus-Mars" classes, "Venus-Jupiter" classes, "Venus-Mercury" classes, "Mars-Jupiter" classes, "Mars-Mercury" classes, and "Jupiter-Mercury" classes.

This results in both an increase in the total number of 3-element classes as well as opening up access to more 3-element classes for each Adept.  The reason why is that Adepts no longer need to include their symbiotic element in order to access a 3-element class.  For instance, in vanilla, a Jupiter Adept like Ivan could only access the three 3-element classes with the Jupiter-Mercury symbiotic pair as their primary element.  But now in the Class Transmutation hack, Ivan can access six different 3-element classes - two for the Jupiter-Venus pair, two for the Jupiter-Mars pair, and two for the Jupiter-Mercury pair.

Here's a chart listing every 3-element class in the Class Transmutation hack and their corresponding eLevel rankings; compare this chart to its counterpart in Part 2:

Class SeriesClass TypeHighest eLevel2nd Highest eLevel3rd Highest eLevel
Samurai Series5 & 6Venus or MarsMars or VenusJupiter
Ninja Series7 & 8Venus or JupiterJupiter or VenusMars
Summoner Series11 & 12Mars or JupiterJupiter or MarsVenus
Ruler Series5 & 6Venus or MarsMars or VenusMercury
Dragoon Series9 & 10Venus or MercuryMercury or VenusMars
Inquisitor Series13 & 14Mars or MercuryMercury or MarsVenus
Medium Series7 & 8Venus or JupiterJupiter or VenusMercury
Dissident Series9 & 10Venus or MercuryMercury or VenusJupiter
White Mage Series15 & 16Jupiter or MercuryMercury or JupiterVenus
Troubadour Series11 & 12Mars or JupiterJupiter or MarsMercury
Pirate Series13 & 14Mars or MercuryMercury or MarsJupiter
Time Mage Series15 & 16Jupiter or MercuryMercury or JupiterMars

In order to actually achieve this, I needed to use one little trick - which is hinted at in the chart.  With the new Class Type table, having Element A in 1st and Element B in 2nd will always lead to a different Class Type than with A and B switched around.  This presents a problem for defining 3-element classes by a pair of elements, because each pair of elements has TWO corresponding Class Types - one with each element of the pair in 1st and the other in 2nd.  I solved this in a pretty cheeky way - I simply made two copies of every single 3-element class, and assigned each of the copies to one of the two Class Types corresponding to its elemental pair.  (Camelot themselves actually used pretty much the same trick before I did - in Dark Dawn, Sveta is only able to access the Medium class series because an exact copy of it was put into one of her character-specific Class Types)

In addition to these significant changes to the class list and the Class Type table, I also made a few other changes which affect class assignment which I should also mention.

First, in vanilla GS, Jenna and Piers have unique mono-element classes.  Basically, if they would be in the usual mono-element Class Types, they are instead put in unique Class Types containing their own unique class series.  In the hack, I pretty much just did the same thing for Felix and Sheba so that they, too, have their own unique mono-element class series.

The one change I made is that across the board, ties in eLevel rankings are settled differently.  Recall that eLevel ranking ties are essentially settled by hardcoded decimal eLevel values for each Adept.  I rearranged all of these so that every Adept's innate eLevel would LOSE all ties instead of winning all ties, by setting every Adept's innate eLevel to 5.0 instead of 5.4.  This basically only has one important effect - it means that Adepts can access partial classes slightly earlier, since it now only takes 5 Djinn instead of 6 in order to reverse an Adept's eLevel rankings in favor of the other element.

This concludes my explanation of the class system changes.  This was supposed to be a """concise""" explanation, but it turned into a right ol' mess, so thanks for bearing with me if you bothered to read the whole thing, haha.

 Venus Djinni Psynergy Changes:

- Numerous brand-new Psynergy have been introduced, many (but not all) of which are exclusive Psynergy for new and returning three-element classes.

Spoiler for New and Overhauled Psynergy:
Poison Gas - A 'new' (actually just unused, though renamed here) single-target Psynergy which can poison the target and deals a little damage.

Delude/Haunt/Curse/Fear Puppet/Condemn - These status Psynergy now deal some damage on top of their status chance so that they're a little less useless.

Life Drain/Heart Drain - Drain and Psy Drain, which were virtually useless in vanilla, have been replaced by/reworked into these new Psynergy.  Life Drain is the standard variant, and it becomes Heart Drain in high-tier classes.  Unlike vanilla Drain, they always deal damage but only sometimes activate the health draining effect.  Psy Drain is not available to any classes, but still exists as a monster-exclusive Psynergy.

Harvest/Harvest Well/Max Harvest - A brand new Venus-aligned healing spell with unique behavior - it heals the main target for the full power of the spell, and heals all other party members by half that amount.  This was added to help out classes without Wish to keep them from seeming completely outclassed without a group heal.  Unfortunately, the series can't be used in the field.

First Aid - A new single-tier Jupiter-aligned heal which is very cheap (only 3 PP) and heals for 30% HP plus a small bonus.

Astral Blast/Astral Surge - These are functionally pretty much identical to vanilla Astral Blast and Thunder Mine, but Astral Surge replaces Thunder Mine in order to be more thematically consistent.

Thunder Bomb/Thunder Mine - Instead of being the stronger form of Astral Blast, Thunder Mine has now split off into being its own thing, with a weaker form in the new Thunder Bomb.  Rather than being a physical Psynergy, it's now a regular single-target Psynergy.

Quick Draw - This is identical to Quick Strike but with a revised name and icon

Helm Crusher/Helm Splitter - Helm Splitter has been tweaked and is now the stronger variant, with Helm Crusher as the new weaker variant.  It no longer can instantly down enemies, in order to distinguish it more from the similar Annihilation - instead, it can lower defense.  It's no longer exclusive to the Samurai series.  Skull Splitter has been reworked into Soul Rend.

Soul Rend - Essentially a Jupiter version of Skull Splitter.  Still has a chance to instantly KO.  Exclusive to the Summoner class series.

Toxic Grit - In Dark Dawn, Himi got this spell, which is basically a Venus variant of the Necronomicon's Poison Flow - it's the same here.  Exclusive to the Summoner class series.

Asylum - A single-target heal which also blocks damage for the rest of the turn - exclusive to the Ruler class series.

Mobilize - A single-target heal which also grants the target an extra turn next round - exclusive to the Ruler class series.

Holy Lance/Longinus - A Mercury damage-multiplier physical Psynergy - exclusive to the Dragoon class series.

Blade Storm - Essentially a Venus variant of Shuriken - exclusive to the Inquisitor class series.

Demon Flash/Unholy Flash/Satanic Flash - A single-target Venus Psynergy psynergy series which also negates stat boosts. Exclusive to the Dissident class series.

Reanimate - An extremely expensive full-party revive - exclusive to the Medium class series.

Rejuvenate - A single-target heal which also cures all status conditions - exclusive to the White Mage class series.

High Tempo - A single-target Psynergy which both raises Speed and heals.  Exclusive to the Troubador class series.

Crescendo - A mild full-party heal which also raises Attack.  Exclusive to the Troubador class series.

Terror Dirge - A multi-target Jupiter Psynergy which can inflict Haunt.  Exclusive to the Troubador class series.

Keelhaul - A Mars EPA based on Eoleo's unique Psynergy in Dark Dawn.  Exclusive to the Pirate class series.

Time Eater - A single-target Jupiter Psynergy which deals damage and lowers speed.  Exclusive to the Time Mage class series.

Revert/Revert Well/Revert Fate - Powerful single-target heals.  Exclusive to the Time Mage class series.

- Many Psynergy series have been tweaked and rebalanced.  Many underpowered Psynergy series such as the Quake and Flare lines have been considerably buffed to be in the same ballpark as other Psynergy.  As a general rule, weak Psynergy have been slightly to considerably buffed while strong Psynergy have maintained their power.  Note that as a result, some early-game Psynergy may be somewhat overpowered, which maybe make the very-early-game somewhat easier than usual - in the latest version, early-game enemies have received HP buffs across-the-board to compensate for this somewhat.

- As of version 1.5, many Psynergy series have also been altered so that their ranges and damage distributions are more unique.  For instance, some Psynergy series now target the entire enemy party, or use a more sharply diminishing damage distribution.  Additionally, every Psynergy in a Psynergy series now has the same range and damage distribution; ranges no longer grow with further stages of Psynergy series (in vanilla, by endgame this made many series feel samey, redundant, or outclassed since they would all grow to have more range than the vast majority of enemy parties would provide).

- The PP costs of many Psynergy have also been adjusted, and the level at which Psynergy are learned has been tweaked as well as standardized across all classes.  Additionally, all Psynergy are now learned at or before level 40, so no grinding should be required to obtain all Psynergy.

- Items like Crystal Powder which emulate Psynergy may be slightly altered in power due to copying the effects of Psynergy which have now been changed.  In particular, Oil Drops now copy the effect of Flare Wall instead of Flare Storm, since the Flare series has been considerably buffed and Oil Drops using Flare Storm's effect would be overpowered in the hands of enemies such as, notably, Briggs

 Venus Djinni Set  Mars Djinni Set  Jupiter Djinni Set  Mercury Djinni Set Additional Changes and other comments:

Some mostly minor map changes have been made to improve quality of life and fix oversights.  Here's a detailed list of what changed:

Spoiler for Map Tweaks:
- Originally, Mogall Forest couldn't be navigated in reverse due to certain rivers only being crossable from one side.  This has been changed; now, in a few cases, taking the wrong path will warp you back to an earlier section of the forest, allowing you to make your way back to the North entrance.  This also slightly discourages navigating the forest through guess-and-check rather than by following the apes.  Specifically: If you go North on the East side of the river in the second main room, instead of looping infinitely, you'll be taken back to the first room of the dungeon; If you go East from the penultimate room, instead of looping infinitely, you'll be taken back to the room with three stumps.

- In the vanilla game, Tonic can only be acquired once Toadonpa has been defeated and the player returns to Lunpa Fortress.  Oddly however, the game seemingly discourages players from doing this by not letting them return to Lunpa Fortress until they have met Bunza in Lunpa Cave and rejected (or accepted) his offer to take the caravan back to Kalay.  Now, Dodonpa's wife has been moved out of the way so that players can get Tonic the first time they visit Donpa's room.  Thus, players are free to take the caravan back to Kalay with Bunza, which should streamline this part of the game a bit.

- Because Frost is now available in TLA before obtaining Piers, it was possible to take the side route to skip a significant portion of Kibombo Mountains.  A rock has been added to Kibombo Mountains to make this impossible this by preventing you from freezing a certain ice pillar when approaching from the south.  However, you can still obtain the Djinn there early if you so choose, and the shortcut through Kibombo Mountains is still functional while navigating it in the opposite direction (since the ice pillar CAN still be frozen from that direction).  This hopefully shouldn't interfere with normal play, since by the time you might want to return to Kibombo, the ship will already be available, meaning a south-to-north shortcut through Kibombo Mountains is unnecessary.

- There was a particular rock formation near the top of Gaia Rock which players could become somewhat stuck in.  Due to some quirk related to collision, it's possible to get inside the rock formation but (in my experience at least) harder to get out, which can make this spot a sort of pseudo-softlock (though it is escapable).  One of these rocks has simply been removed to eliminate this issue.

- During one section of Magma Rock, the player is clearly intended to ride a platform across the lava in order to use Burst on one of the statues and destroy a pillar from afar.  However, it's possible to simply walk up to the pillar directly and Burst it.  This was fixed by adding some additional rocks to prevent the player from using Burst directly.

- Anemos Sanctum had a gap in its collision in one room allowing players to get out of bounds.  This has been fixed.

- Item-based classes have been removed and the items that grant them have been replaced by other loot - sorry, item class fans.  This was done for a few main reasons - so that the icon slots of item-class exclusive Psynergy could be re-purposed for brand-new Psynergies, and so that some of their Psynergies and archetypes could be retooled into or borrowed by new 3-element classes (for instance, the Summoner-Puppetmaster-Onmyouji line draws heavily from the Tomegathericon Dark Mage line, and Bard borrows elements from Pierrot).  It may have been possible to work around these factors and preserve the item classes, but if I'm being totally honest, I'm kind of just not a fan of the item classes in general so preserving them wasn't a priority.

- Since item classes have been removed, the items that grant them have been replaced as well.  The Mysterious Card and Trainer's Whip have simply been replaced with Waters of Life.  The Tomegathericon, which is given to you with some plot import, has been replaced with a brand new item, the Growth Marble, which bestows Growth to the user, which should be convenient since it will allow Growth to be used without rearranging Djinn whenever Growth is needed.

- Despite changes to Psynergy balance, the Class Transmutation Hack is not intended to be a mod which significantly improves game balance across-the-board - instead, it intends mostly to add/tweak features of the class system.  The stats and abilities of new classes were designed to be roughly in line with the original game's balance, and the changes and additions may, if anything, make the game slightly easier.

- Early game enemies and bosses have received HP buffs of up to 50% to counteract the buffs given to very-early-game Psynergy, up through the enemies introduced in Mercury Lighthouse in TBS and Yampi Desert in TLA, in order to bring the game balance more in line with the original version.

- A select few enemies have been changed slightly to preserve game balance and improve quality-of-life; for example, Djinn will no longer flee from battles and some may use new Psynergy.

- The amount of Experience Points gained from lategame bosses in TBS has been increased.  This was done to help Isaac's party get closer to the levels of Felix's party during the reunion in TLA, especially if players choose to use the Tempest Lizard to grind.  It should also provide an additional incentive to fight Deadbeard, since he'll give you a huge chunk of Exp.  Specifically: Tempest Lizard gives twice as much EXP as in vanilla; Deadbeard gives 50% more; Fusion Dragon now gives a large helping of EXP whereas it originally granted 0 EXP (presumably because it was the final boss, so granting EXP wouldn't be useful - but if you assume players will continue to the next game, that logic doesn't work).

- Various mistranslations and inconsistencies in the script have been fixed.  For instance, Hsu is no longer referred to as Ulmuch in TLA, mistranslated moves like "Formina Sage" and "Fire Blessing" are now corrected to "Fulminous Edge" and "Fire Breath", and Sunshine's wife will tell you both the name and price of the item Sunshine forged as she does in the Japanese version.  Additionally, the character limit for the party members' names has been increased from 5 to 7, and some minor tweaks have been made to the script to prevent issues caused by lines being potentially too long.

- If you have any questions, or notice any bugs or oversights in the game or errors in the spreadsheets, feel free to contact me here or via discord at empty_set#6829.
« Last Edit: 13, June, 2022, 04:45:11 PM by EmptySet » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: 30, May, 2021, 04:36:07 PM »

Hey, looks like I'll be the first one to comment. First of all welcome! and congratulations on having your own proyect here, it's good seeing new stuff. I have a lot of constructive criticism, I'll try to be a thorough as possible, but everything I say is of course *my* opinion and you are free to disagree. Also, all of this is coming from theory-crafting and watching the numbers, I haven't actually tested anything in-game yet

The TLDR is: I love what you did with the classes, the new psynergies and I love the spreadsheets... The changes you did to the existing psynergy not so much.

Information provided

I'll start with the technicalities regarding the spreadsheet and info provided. As I said I really like the spreadsheet it is easy to read and well organized, the information on your post is likewise very clear. I have a few comments on how to make it better:

Spoiler for Hidden:
First: I like that you added the spoiler explanation for the 3 element classes, for anyone that doesn't know how it works, it is very thorough and clear. HOWEVER there's this line: "I can say with confident that virtually no player of Golden Sun has actually internalized these rules on a conceptual level." This comes out a bit arrogant, specially considering most people in this forum will actually know this already. Maybe rephrase it or eliminate that line altogether, it doesn't really do much.

Second: The list of the psynergy changes is good, but I think it would be easier to read if each psynergy you are explaining was either bold or underlined

Regarding the spreadsheet

Third: In the clases sheet you specify that the psynergies with a * are only available to higher class tiers, but none of the psynergies have it. Also (if implemented) it would be nice to know just what tier it is instead of "higher".

Fourth: The psynergies that have a secondary effect would benefit having that present in some way, both new and old. Also all psynergies would like having their range specified.

Fifth: Not all psynergies are present in the tab. Specifically the alternate versions that 3 element classes get of typical psynergies (Demon Spear, Guardian, Magic Shell, Mist). They should be there if only for completion's sake, also for newer players that don't know/remember what these do.

Sixth: The revives don't have the proper frames they look like they are part of the "Multiplier EPAs"

Seventh: I realise that this is a lot of extra work you may not want to do. But an extra spreadsheet with all the psynergy info grouped by class would be awesome. Something like what the GS Wiki has.

Class Changes

Here I'll discus the changes you made to the classes. Like I said I mostly love these changes, it's beautiful having so many options instead of the old 2 brute 2 apprentice. Also Isaac and Felix, and Ivan and Sheba absolutely needed class differentiation. However it does feel like you were a bit shy with the changes.

Spoiler for Hidden:
First: Felix and Isaac classes have pretty much the exact same stat multipliers and share a lot of psynergies, they don't really feel that much different. Regarding the psynergies I would recommend having only one of them with Quake and Cure, so they only share Ragnarok and Revive which would be the "staples" of physical Venus Adepts. Have the one that doesn't get Cure get some other supporting psynergy (Stat buff/debuff or status infliction).
Spoiler for Hidden:
Sure, there aren't that many Venus suporting psynergies, but you could always swap the element of any of the Samurai's variants to Venus and use that one without having to go over all the classes to check if the elements make sense
This can be done in two ways:
  • Have Felix keep Cure, since your hack is only for TLA you don't have the issue of needing a healer in TBS early game. If you were to do a TBS hack consistent with this you would have to give a new healing Psynergy to Ivan's innate class (Garet doesn't really fit, does he?).
  • Have Isaac keep Cure, in order to be more consistent with how TBS is. This means you would have to give some new healing Psynergy for Jenna or Sheba's innate class for the early game.
Regarding the stats I would recommend at least a + or - 10 difference in HP and PP between them: The one that gets Cure gets +10PP -10HP compared to the one that doesn't.

Second: Likewise Ivan and Sheba don't look that different either. Whirlwind should surely be their "staple" since you need it for the puzzles but I think having both get Impact, Ward and Bind is a bit much, Bind could be the second "staple" but the others have to change. As for Jupiter supporting psynergies you have Dull and Weaken that could be used in exchange of Impact and Ward, also you could give one of them the healing psynergies that their fellow Venus adept lost.
Regarding the stats I think Ivan's atk could use a buff up to 130 to compensate for the 10 less luck compared to Sheba.

Third: Jenna and Garet are fine. I don't quite like them both having Guard AND Impair, but its not a big deal. Likewise Mia and Piers are fine, though maybe have only one of them have Break (Ply, Cure Poison and Restore would be "staples")

Fourth: I really like that you split the shared 2 elemental classes into 2 variants each, but I couldn't help but notice that some pairs are more similar than others, for example: Venus-Mars and Venus-Mercury share 5 psynergies, while Venus-Jupiter share only 1. I think leaning into the differences would be a good idea, have half the supporting psynergies be on one class and the other half in the other, also you could switch Wish for the alternatives. It would be something like:

  • Scavanger: Planetary - Spire - Growth - Fire - Revive -Haunt - Condemn
    Brute: Helm Splitter - Volcano - Thorn - Starburst - Revive - Impair - Curse
  • Swordsman: Cutting Edge - Thorn - Ply - Harvest - Revive - Break - Avoid
    Caster: Froth - Growth - Cure - Wish - Revive -Cure Poison - Restore 

I'd say too many 2 elemental classes have Wish in your setup, it would be good to see Aura and Harvest there, not only for variety but also because they being learned at different levels means during different portions of the game some of the classes can heal more than the others, modifying the strategies you want to use every time. And also because in the endgame Wish heals a lot, sure, but it is also expensive, and some of the classes that you gave wish to don't have the PP multipliers to really use it, they would actually prefer having the cheaper options (as long as they are efficient HP/PP), the Swordsman with 140% PP would run out instantly with Wish, maybe not so fast with Harvest.

Fifth: Regarding the stats of the 2 elemental classes, if you check the stat distributions within each pair they look good, they are similar (though not identical) in the ones that makes sense for them to be similar (Venus-Mars and Jupiter-Mercury) and different in the ones that makes sense for them to be different, that's awesome. However there is another consideration to be had regarding the stats and that is the variation in stats each adept has at their disposal:

  • Venus adepts: More physical with Mars, more psynergical with Jupiter, balanced/defensive with Mercury. That's awesome
  • Mars adepts: More physical with Venus, more psynergical with Jupiter, balanced/defensive with Mercury. That's great
  • Jupiter adepts: More psynergical with Venus, more psynergical with Mars, more psynergical with Mercury. That's weird, but they are both primarily casters, aren't they?
  • Mercury: More psynergical with Venus, more psynergical with Mars, more psynergical with Mercury. Now this is a big problem, Mia maybe doesn't care that much, but poor Piers has no physical option, that's not right

I think Jupiter adepts should have 1 class with a decent atk multiplier of 150 and seeing as Page has Astral Blast that should probably be it and they could afford losing 10 in PP of speed. It's fine for them not to have a full on Physical with 160atk or a Defensive class since it doesn't really fit them.

Mercury adepts should have at the very least a Defensive-physical class which could be with Venus with stats like (200 130 150 160 130 130). Or more generally, a physical class with Mars (200 120 160 140 160 90) and a balanced/defensive with Venus (200 160 140 160 120 120).

Finally, this is less important than the previous ones but the balanced/defensive Mars>Mercury class doesn't really suit Jenna much I think it would be better if it was balanced/offensive with more PP an lower def (190 150 150 140 150 120). Its a small change but I think it would work better for Jenna without compromising Garet much. Also both Venus>Mercury and Mars>Mercury are VERY similar, this change would bring them a bit further apart.

Sixth: I love that you completed the 3 elemental classes roster, it always bugs me that there are so few options there. The new spells seem fun and I really like that you gave every class at least 1 exclusive one. Since every character now has 6 options for 3 elemental classes I would expect lots of different strategic setups for every character: Fast frail physical offense (Ninja), Fast frail Psynergy offense (Time Mage), Slow bulky physical offense (Samurai), Slow bulky Psynergy offense (?), Defensive support (Paladin), fast support (Necromancer)... So yeah, there's some nice variety there.
This is maybe nitpicking so don't take it too seriously...Still there is one hole: the only class that could work as Slow Bulky psynergy offense is the Paladin, but it's set is more oriented for support. I think having one or two classes that are slow, have lower atk but top tier PP and good defenses and have access to some of the stronger psynergies would be a good idea.

Apart from that, although somewhat related, I can see checking the available sets, that Venus, Mars and Mercury Adepts have pretty varied options, covering most of the mentioned. However Jupiter Adepts don't really have that, all of their sets are fast and frail (except for Bard which is slow and frail I guess? Very strange stats there). Giving them a Slow bulky physical offense does seem pretty ridiculous so I wont go there, but I think they would be the most benefited from getting a Slow bulky psynergy offense class.

Seventh: I am sad to see the item classes go, but realistically they were a pain to build around and were mostly too weak to justify using them. Besides, there are just so many options available with the changes you did that I will not miss them.

Psynergy changes

Here I'll talk about the psynergy changes. I mostly like the new psynergies, tough they may not really be balanced. Although I understand the spirit behind doing it I didn't like the changes you made to existing psynergy, so I am going to start with that.

Spoiler for Hidden:
First of all I want to say I understand the motivation behind this change: you want to make good use of every psynergy, every animation, because otherwise your classes end up either with really lousy spells or all having the same old Prism, Plasma, Volcano and Gaia, and some series (like Flame) hit less than half of that so the couldn't compete. Also it would seem like cheaper and weaker spells should be more dmg/PP efficient than the hardest hitter and that wasn't always the case. Finally having all the psynegies standardized like this makes it easier to know the power level of the spell you give to each class, so its easier to balance it out. I understand these factors and I am not strictly against any change to the psynergies, but I don't like the way you chose to do it, so I'll try to explain why and name the elements a rework would need to fulfill for it to be good in my opinion.

First: Spell uniqueness: The original system may have had its flaws but every psynergy felt unique and filled some niche, for the most part there weren't any 2 psynergy lines that were identical in all numbers (with different elements), or even similar and that's great, you were kind of surprised with each power level. Ice is not just the Mercury Thorn, Blast is not just the Mars Growth. Maybe you learn two stages of a new line before you get the second stage of the line you had since the beginning. Each is a distinct line with different stats and are learned at different levels. And I think any rework should strive to maintain that.

Second: Range: In your system you completely ignored the amount of enemies the spells were going to hit. You say Quake Sphere should have the same power and cost as Flare Storm even though the first has a Range of 7 and the second has a Range of 3. That makes no sense, if two spells are similar but one's range is higher than the other then either the cost has to be higher as well or the power has to be lower in order to compensate.

Third: Power Level: you gave some MASSIVE buffs to the first stage of pretty much every single psynergy line. Up to 292% in the case of Quake, that is extremely unbalanced, and for what reason? To make it dmg/PP efficient? I don't think that's a good idea, I would rather have inefficient first stages, efficient second stages and strong but inefficient third stages. You would never use the first stages after you get the second ones anyway.

Fourth: Alternatives There are other ways of keeping a psynergy line entertaining besides raw dmg or PP efficiency. Make them have a chance at lowering Atk, or Res, or maybe they inflict Poison or Delude.

I think you should:
  • 1) Change the values for all spells so that no 2 Psynergy lines share all the same numbers, they can coincide in one spot but not all 3. Also remember to take the Range into consideration, higher range requires either higher cost or lower power.
  • 2) Have the levels at which new tiers are learned mixed up between all the psynergies of a given element. Not having it so straightforward that Flare<Blast<Fire<Starburst<Juggle<Beam<Volcano. Maybe Tier 2 Fire is stronger than Tier 2 Juggle, but is learned later. Maybe Tier 3 Flare is stronger than Tier 3 Starburst but is learned later (And Flare has range 3, while Starburst has range 7). MIX IT UP
  • 3) In the end there will be some Tier 3 psynergies that are weaker than others, you can give those some added effect to keep them interesting
  • 4) Keep the first stage of the psynergy lines moslty weak, maybe increase it by 5 or so. Otherwise it breaks early game for no good reason
  • 5) There's no reason that Volcano, Prism, Gaia and Plasma have to be the strongest psynergies, they have big ranges, maybe a Range 3 psynergy could be stronger?

That's all I have to say about the reworked psynergies. Now about the brand new ones. I love them, some are really powerfull, especially if you combine them. The only one I'm not sure of how good it is is High Tempo, I'm not sure how impactfull a single target speed boost can be. The ones I'm worried about being too powerful are: Demon Flash (Stronger Fume + Break is nuts), Movilize (Cure Well + Kite, without the drawbacks of using Djinn), and the combination of Asylum+Reanimate (You fell like you'll die this round so you negate all dmg and the instantly revive everyone. Besides 50PP is "pretty cheap" for a full revive)

Well, that's all I have to say right now. I hope it helps polish this new gem. Once again, all I said here is my subjective opinion and you are free to disagree with any and all of this.

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« Reply #2 on: 03, June, 2021, 10:19:43 AM »

Wow, thanks for the in-depth feedback.  I really appreciate you going into such detail on my little pet project.

Documentation/Spreadsheet stuff:

Spoiler for Hidden:
Thanks for pointing out my errors and omissions in the spreadsheet.  I've gone through and addressed the following:

-Psynergy limited to higher tiers are now noted in italics and the note has been updated to explain they are available starting at Tier 2

-Secondary effects of Psynergy are now listed on the Psynergy tab

-The omitted alternate stat-boosting Psynergies (Demon Spear, etc) have been added under a new section, and the Revive section's formatting has been fixed

I plan on adding targeting ranges to the Psynergy page in the hopefully not-too-distant future (though this may wait until a 1.1 patch which may adjust some of them).  I may look into adding the page you suggested listing Psynergy in detail by class, especially if I can generate it programmatically rather than manually which I think should be doable.

there's this line: "I can say with confident that virtually no player of Golden Sun has actually internalized these rules on a conceptual level." This comes out a bit arrogant, specially considering most people in this forum will actually know this already.

Yeah, upon re-reading my wording, I think I gave off the wrong impression.  I was trying to suggest that nobody would figure the 3-element rules out conceptually during normal gameplay in particular, not to imply that I was somehow the first and only person to piece this together - which is certainly not so, especially considering that it was lurking on here that helped me put together the final pieces in understanding the class mechanics.  I revised my phrasing in that section.

In terms of your in-depth feedback on the changes in the hack itself, I think you raise a lot of good points, though there are some areas where I don't necessarily agree with your judgments or with their significance.  I don't think I'll get to every single point you made individually but here are my thoughts on some of your feedback:

Class System Stuff:

Spoiler for Hidden:
- I can see where you're coming from in criticizing the similarity of the mono-element classes.  However, I don't feel that it's necessary to make these classes feel functionally different rather than aesthetically different - that is, given the large number of classes available, I don't think Isaac and Felix's mono-element classes, for instance, need to play notably different roles or fill different niches.

 - You're totally right that Wish is very over-distributed among the 2-element classes.  I think I will take your advice and swap out Wish for Harvest or Aura for several classes.

 - For two-element classes, I wasn't quite as worried about providing ideal two-element Primary (e.g. non-"Partial") classes for Piers and Jenna (e.g. making sure Piers has physically-oriented two-element classes) since my changes make accessing "Partial" classes possible a bit earlier and let Adepts get to the final tiers.  E.g. Piers can now access Protector and Radiant - and with the same number of total Djinn invested as Primary classes.

 - Of course, these still only become available a fair ways into the game, and accessing them may throw off your balance of Djinn for the rest of your party, so there are still clear downsides... I am still willing to keep an open mind in terms of making adjustments here.

In general, your commentary and perspective on classes is interesting and I'll definitely keep some of your observations in mind when taking another look at class balance (which I'm certainly not considering finalized)

Psynergy Stuff

Spoiler for Hidden:
- I guess I don't personally see the value, from a player experience perspective, in making sure there aren't spells with identical stats between different elements.  As a player, stuff like power isn't directly visible, and the differences in when spells are learned and such have never felt like anything but idiosyncrasies to me - and upon compiling together the data from the base game in order to adjust it, I frankly didn't notice much rhyme or reason in the noise.  Is it fun to keep tabs on, say, how strong or costly or efficient the second tier in some Psynergy line is compared to another one?  Or to be mildly surprised (or annoyed) by learning a Psynergy a little earlier or later than you might've predicted?  Personally, I don't think so, though it's interesting to hear another perspective.

 - I think you make some fair observations regarding how Psynergy range isn't reflected in stats.  At the very least, I probably ought to make Psynergy range at least affect PP cost... However, the reason I wasn't terribly worried about this was that, in practice, Psynergy range, ESPECIALLY the difference between 5-range and 7-range spells, is very, very rarely relevant.  I'd wager that something like 90% or more of encounters have 3 or fewer enemies.  And bosses who aren't named Star Magician only have 1-3 enemies, with single-enemy bosses being by far the most common.  When there are only 3 targets, the difference between even a 3-range and a 5-range spell essentially comes down to whether or not, when targeting an enemy on the side, you'll deal a small chunk of damage to the enemy on the other side.

 - As a sort of aside on this point, if the scope of this hack was expanded, I'd probably look into tweaking/overhauling/adding to enemy encounters as well as bosses in order to include considerably more isntances of larger numbers of targets, as well as making Psynergy ranges more consistent or even completely consistent between tiers - SO many spells in vanilla end up being at least 5-range at their highest tier which homogenizes them.  But those changes were a bit beyond the scope of this incarnation of the hack, which may indeed have been to its detriment.

 - The low-end spells being much stronger was mostly done for consistency, but it does lead to some balance issues in the very-early game before weak spells start getting replaced... I haven't decided what to do about that yet.  I might nerf them across the board, or nerf them based on learn level, or buff the early encounters and bosses instead.

 - You make a good point about differentiating spells in other ways than just damage/cost, such as adding chances to inflict statuses, stat changes, etc.  Adding significantly more secondary effects or other unique behaviors to spells is something I'm definitely curious about looking into, though I might want more control over these effects than the vanilla mechanics offer, i.e. intermediate levels of stat buffs/debuffs, more control over status infliction success rate, etc.

Finally, some notes on some of the new Psynergy:

 - Demon Flash... probably does need a nerf, frankly.

 - I was a little bit worried about Mobilize during development, but in my testing before release I ended up not getting quite as much use out of it as I thought.  I don't consider Kite having the additional effect of using a Djinn to be a drawback - in fact, I consider it a boon, since it's basically a 'free' Djinn which can contribute to summons.  I ended up mostly using Mobilize in practice to expedite Djinn setups towards summons which the Mobilize user could not themselves contribute to, or in a few other niche cases like letting a healer do double-duty next turn by healing and also performing some other function.  However, there might be some way to exploit Mobilize that I'm not clever enough to come up with...

 - High Tempo has admittedly niche usage, but it does have some use cases, e.g. specifically boosting a slow healer, or manipulating turn order to ensure a particular character acts before another (this is sometimes useful in summon setups since it's possible to unleash a Djinn and then do a summon requiring that Djinn in the same turn)

 - Asylum is notably not a priority spell like Granite, Flash, etc, so it only helps if you can get it out before the enemy attacks.  Though, managing your speed is generally not too hard with the right Djinn (and High Tempo if you have it), so maybe this drawback is too easily circumvented...

 - Reanimate may indeed still be too cheap given its utility... Maybe I should ratchet up the cost even more.  I'd also like to make it revive Adepts to only some % of their max HP.

Thanks again for such detailed and well-thought-out feedback.  My plan going forward is to put some mostly smaller-scale adjustments based on feedback into a 'Version 1.1' to release in the not too distant future, and then put some more comprehensive changes (including some which may somewhat expand the scope of the hack) on the back-burner to potentially get around to at a later time (irl stuff limits how much I can focus on this project).
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« Reply #3 on: 17, April, 2022, 08:03:30 AM »

Version 1.2 of this hack has now been released.  The changes are mostly fixes for errors in earlier versions, plus some very minor balancing tweaks.  This is likely the final major change to this incarnation of the hack.

Additionally, I've begun working in earnest on a version of this hack for the original Golden Sun/The Broken Seal.  I'm not sure how long it will take; it's progressing smoothly so far, but the trickier bits may be yet to come.
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« Reply #4 on: 20, May, 2022, 03:02:50 PM »

I'll have to check this out sometime. It's a bit hard to squeeze the time in as I'm still very slowly working my way through my first playthrough of Reloaded of all things, but I took some time to read a little closer the things you've been working on for this and it's got me curious to try it out some time.  Updated my patch folder to include Version 1.2, so I'm sure I'll get around to it eventually.
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« Reply #5 on: 03, June, 2022, 10:32:53 AM »

I'll have to check this out sometime. It's a bit hard to squeeze the time in as I'm still very slowly working my way through my first playthrough of Reloaded of all things, but I took some time to read a little closer the things you've been working on for this and it's got me curious to try it out some time.  Updated my patch folder to include Version 1.2, so I'm sure I'll get around to it eventually.

Thanks for your interest~  I've just finished up and released Version 1.5, which now includes a version for the first game, if that entices you to give it a go Happy

Also, I was most of the way through your Dawn of Djinn hack when I suddenly had both the craving and the free time to return to working on my own hack, so now that I've released v1.5 I want to get back to Dawn of Djinn and finish up the remaining stuff.  All I have left is Deadbeard, that other bonus boss (who kicked my butt hard several times in a row when I last attempted, lol), and Venus Lighthouse/the final bosses.
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01, June, 2022, 07:12:04 AM
Plexa: We're almost there Daddy Poi, ACE in TLA any day now :)
01, September, 2021, 02:55:35 PM
Daddy Poi's Oily Gorillas: At least for warps.
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Daddy Poi's Oily Gorillas: To think that events are not done via a tilemap in GS3 is interesting, and they'd just be cubes in the size of a tile (I think)... with given coords.
28, March, 2021, 06:10:33 PM
Salanewt: Tiny announcement down here that a new animation pack is now available for download! The Animation Overhaul is required; see the downloads page for more details.
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Daddy Poi's Oily Gorillas: I'm happy ACE is possible and easy in GS1. :D Thank you Tret. Now if we can get GS2 Air's Rock to do ACE, wouldn't that be something.
18, February, 2021, 03:25:26 PM
Salanewt: The one here has everything:;sa=view;down=132
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Daddy Poi's Oily GorillasSo how long is this site going to be "This website is still under construction, please excuse the mess." :D
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30, October, 2020, 11:10:23 PM
Salanewt: ... Actually, it's almost time for me to post an update on the forum. It's been coming along really nicely overall, and it was only a couple months or so ago that I added some new status effects to the game.
30, October, 2020, 11:08:41 PM
Salanewt: I need to get it done to start making progress on the parts of the AI Overhaul I want to start working on.
30, October, 2020, 11:08:14 PM
Salanewt: It's going well! I wanted to get more of my djinn reform done this week but I've been busy with other things sadly.
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MaxiPower: first chapter of my golden sun inspired webtoon is now live. be cool if yas could check it out.
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Daddy Poi's Oily Gorillas: Being able to convert IPS files to text files to also supporting commenting, and convert back to IPS after changes.... sounds like a fun strategy? 
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Salanewt: That's awesome! I'm pretty good; been working on an AI Overhaul project and have made some nice progress in the past couple weeks; the goal for tonight is to add Deadbeard to GS2 and then I can move onto something new.
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Awec: Ye not bad, just checked back in for updates on GS Reloaded really. Although now I'm looking back through some of my old forum posts, which is fun :D how are you?
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