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Author Topic: Golden Sun TLA Class Transmutation Hack (Version 1.1)  (Read 606 times)
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« on: 29, May, 2021, 02:46:55 AM »

The Golden Sun TLA Class Transmutation Hack is a hack of The Lost Age with the main intention of completely overhauling the class system, alongside some other changes, including some brand-new Psynergy and a few balance tweaks.  The class system's overall structure has been changed - Djinn requirements and class structure have been altered across-the-board, and new classes and Psynergy have been added, most notably for 3-element classes, which have been expanded and re-imagined.  Some additional balance tweaks have been applied, with the intention of largely preserving the difficulty and balance of the vanilla game given the changes made.  Note that this is more of a proof-of-concept for an overhauled class system than a completely re-imagined or re-balanced game - most features outside of the classes and psynergy are untouched.

You can grab the newest version of the patch (Version 1.1) here: http://forum.goldensunhacking.net/index.php?action=downloads;sa=view;down=140.  Version 1.1 mostly makes small balance adjustments and also buffs early-game enemies a bit.

Version 1.1 will likely be the last update to this hack in the near future, barring fixing any oversights or other minor tweaks.  Though I may revisit this project some day, I would probably significantly expand the scope of the hack, which I don't expect to have the time to do in the immediate future.

Earlier versions:
Version 1.0

Changes from Version 1.0 -> Version 1.1:
Spoiler for 1.1 Changelog:
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: 115 -> 220 HP (each)
  • King Scorpion: 1064 -> 1200 HP

 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, and learn levels 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

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, and the level it's learned at
  • Full class access charts for Adepts of all elements


Now, for a much more comprehensive list of additions and modifications:


 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, and 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:

- 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 with the Class Transmutation patch, Venus Adepts have full access to two complete Venus/Jupiter/Mercury classes - a modified Medium class series and the brand new Dissident class series.

- A full explanation of the way in which 3-element classes were overhauled will require some fairly in-depth and technical explanations:

Spoiler for Full 3-Element Overhaul Explanation:
While 3-element class access in the Class Transmutation Hack is still based on an Adept's comparative eLevels, as in vanilla, there is now a more standard scheme rather than vanilla Golden Sun's irregular and esoteric system.

Recall that an Adept's eLevels are given by 5 eLevels in their innate element plus 1 eLevel in each element per Djinni set of that element.

To properly explain the changes made, I think it will be necessary to give a full account of the peculiarities of vanilla GS's systems.  So, here's an example in vanilla GS to illustrate how it worked:

In vanilla Golden Sun, there were two 3-element classes with the "Venus/Mars/Jupiter" combination - namely, the Ninja and Samurai series.  How can we characterize these in terms of eLevel requirements?

Here's a chart listing an Adept's eLevels in order from highest to lowest, and which 3-element class series they'd be sorted into given that ranking:

1st eLevel2nd eLevel3rd eLevelResultant Class Series
Venus VenusJupiter JupiterMars MarsNinja
Mars MarsJupiter JupiterVenus VenusNinja
Venus VenusMars MarsJupiter JupiterSamurai
Mars MarsVenus VenusJupiter JupiterSamurai
Jupiter JupiterVenus VenusMars Mars(no corresponding 3-element class series)
Jupiter JupiterMars MarsVenus Venus(no corresponding 3-element class series)

So what can we conclude from this list?  We can make a few observations:

1. Accessing the Ninja class series requires Jupiter being an Adept's second highest eLevel, regardless of what the Adept's highest eLevel is

2. Accessing the Samurai class series requires Jupiter being an Adept's third highest eLevel, regardless of which order Venus and Mars are in for the first two positions

3. If Jupiter is an Adept's number one highest eLevel, there is NO corresponding 3-element class.

In other words, which class an Adept can access basically just depends on which rank Jupiter is in in their eLevel rankings.

Notably, the 3rd observation is the reason why Jupiter Adepts only have partial access to the Ninja class series.  In order to access Ninja, they need to get either their Venus or Mars eLevels strictly above their innate eLevels, which requires a whopping 6 Djinn of that element - and then, in order to satisfy the Djinn requirements of the (lowest tier) Ninja class, they need 3 Djinn of the remaining element.  This is why Jupiter Adepts can access Ninja either with 6 Mars and 3 Venus Djinn, OR 6 Venus and 3 Mars Djinn.

Okay, so that's the case of the Venus/Mars/Jupiter 3-element classes.  Can we generalize what we've learned?

Recall that the 'symbiotic' pairs in Golden Sun are Venus/Mars and Jupiter/Mercury.

In vanilla Golden Sun, in the general case, the type of 3-element class an Adept can access is characterized by which rank the non-symbiotic element of their current 3-element combination falls in within their eLevel rankings.  When stated as such, this is a subtle and obscure characterization and is understandably hard to grasp.  Further, the matter of when a 3-element class even exists to access is inconsisnent - for instance, in the Venus/Mars/Mercury combination, a 3-element class only exists when the non-symbiotic element (in this case Mercury, as Venus and Mars are symbiotic) is the second highest eLevel.  If Mercury is the first or third highest eLevel in this 3-element combination, no 3-element class exists (despite the fact one might be expected when Mercury is third, which some hacks add).  As an exercise, contrast this with which eLevel rankings of the non-symbiotic element Jupiter allowed 3-element class access in the above Venus/Mars/Jupiter case.

I can say with confidence that pretty much nobody just playing Golden Sun casually has internalized these odd 3-element class rules on a conceptual level.  Many people likely simply know by rote what the Djinn requirements are for each character and desired class.  So, hopefully a more standardized system would be at least somewhat more intuitive and not require either memorization or reverse-engineering of esoteric rules.

Okay - so now, how does 3-element class assignment work in the Class Transmutation Hack?

The scheme is much simpler - which class series an Adept will end up in is now characterized by their lowest ranking eLevel of the 3 relevant elements - or, equivalently, the dominant pair.  Symbiosis is no longer a factor, which means 3-element class access is now symmetric and equivalent across all elements for all Adepts - basically, any combination of elements will lead to a 3-element class.

Let's look at an example - let's again look at the Venus/Mars/Jupiter combination.  Here's a chart, equivalent to the one from earlier (though in revised order), showing class access given eLevel rankings in those 3 elements:

1st eLevel2nd eLevel3rd eLevelResultant Class Series
Venus VenusMars MarsJupiter JupiterSamurai
Mars MarsVenus VenusJupiter JupiterSamurai
Venus VenusJupiter JupiterMars MarsNinja
Jupiter JupiterVenus VenusMars MarsNinja
Mars MarsJupiter JupiterVenus VenusSummoner
Jupiter JupiterMars MarsVenus VenusSummoner

So, out of the 3-element Venus/Mars/Jupiter, we can see a pattern in terms of eLevel rankings.  
If Jupiter is the lowest eLevel ranking (with Venus/Mars as the dominant pair in either order), the Adept will be in the Samurai class series.
If Mars is the lowest eLevel ranking (with Venus/Jupiter as the dominant pair in either order), the Adept will be in the Ninja class series.
If Venus is the lowest eLevel ranking (with Mars/Jupiter as the dominant pair in either order), the Adept will be in the Summoner class series.

There is a significant upshot of this scheme: due to at max 9 Djinn being available per Adept, an Adept cannot raise TWO non-innate eLevels above their innate eLevel.

So, for instance, a Venus Adept cannot make it so that both their Mars and Jupiter eLevels are in the dominant two positions, with Venus in third place.  As such, Venus Adepts in the Class Transmutation Hack cannot access the Summoner class, which would require the Venus eLevel to be in the 3rd ranking position.

In general, each Adept can access 2/3 of the 3-element classes for a 3-element combination.  So, for instance for Venus/Mars/Jupiter classes:

Venus Adepts can access Samurai and Ninja
Mars Adepts can access Samurai and Summoner
Jupiter Adepts can access Ninja and Summoner

Note again that the standardization of the system means that none of these classes are partial - all are complete.  So for example, Jupiter Adepts like Ivan now have complete access to the Ninja class series as well as complete access to the brand new Summoner class series.

Broadly, this means that each Adept has access to 6 different 3-element classes - twice as many as in vanilla GS, where each Adept only had full access to 3 (and very limited access to one more).  Let's look at one example:

Mia and Piers are Mercury Adepts.  Here are the 3-element classes they can access, characterized by the dominant pair and submissive element:

(Mercury and Venus) over Mars = Dragoon class series
(Mercury and Mars) over Venus = Inquisitor class series
(Mercury and Venus) over Jupiter = Dissident class series
(Mercury and Jupiter) over Venus = White Mage class series
(Mercury and Mars) over Jupiter = Pirate class series
(Mercury and Jupiter) over Mars = Time Mage class series

Note that this diverse range of classes is of particular benefit to Piers vs the vanilla class options - in vanilla, his only full class series options are the Ranger, Medium, and White Mage lines, none of which are particularly suitable to his warrior nature - however, the expanded options of the Class Transmutation Hack grant him full access to the Dragoon, Inquisitor, and Pirate class series which all capitalize much better on his strengths.

It is also notable that the increased freedom in Djinn combinations means that many more 3-element class combinations for your party are viable as compared to in vanilla Golden Sun, which often railroads you into particular builds should you choose to use 3-element classes - such as, notably, railroading you into a Samurai/Dragoon/Ranger/White Mage setup.

 Mercury 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) 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 that uniquely has a range of 3 rather than just 1 or the entire party.  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.

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.

- 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:

- 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 patch 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.

- Unfortunately, this hack is currently limited to TLA.  Many of the new and adjusted classes utilize Psynergy and animations which are exclusive to TLA, so backporting these changes to TBS will be difficult, though I may go back and make a TBS version in the future.  You will probably want to transfer data from the first game, which should work mostly fine other than some brief class weirdness when you first get Isaac's party - just reset each of their Djinn and they should work as normal.

- If you have any questions, or notice any bugs or oversights, feel free to ask here or via discord.
« Last Edit: 13, September, 2021, 07:08:13 AM 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.

Cheers!
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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.

Quote
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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01, September, 2021, 02:55:35 PM
Daddy Poi's Oily Gorillas: At least for warps.
01, September, 2021, 02:55:01 PM
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.
03, March, 2021, 03:16:30 AM
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: http://forum.goldensunhacking.net/index.php?action=downloads;sa=view;down=132
18, February, 2021, 02:03:20 PM
VardenSalad: It looks like Atrius' editor download is broken again. The only thing in the .zip is the background image
13, February, 2021, 03:15:41 PM
MaxiPower: Welcom back Charon. been a long time.
11, February, 2021, 09:40:04 PM
Daddy Poi's Oily GorillasSo how long is this site going to be "This website is still under construction, please excuse the mess." :D
04, February, 2021, 12:56:21 AM
charon the ferryman: LMAO i love 2010 tech
04, February, 2021, 12:56:07 AM
charon the ferryman: release me from my discord prison meme mortals
15, November, 2020, 03:45:26 PM
Salanewt: We're more alive than the board implies; most discussion takes place over on the Discord server.
15, November, 2020, 03:45:06 PM
Salanewt: Haha, heya!
15, November, 2020, 02:07:50 PM
Frog: Nice to see this place is still alive...ish anyway xD
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.
30, October, 2020, 09:58:14 PM
KyleRunner: Hi guys! How are you doing?
13, October, 2020, 11:19:21 AM
MaxiPower: first chapter of my golden sun inspired webtoon is now live. be cool if yas could check it out. https://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/legacy-of-the-lost-dragoon/the-northern-reaches/viewer?title_no=508487&episode_no=6
31, August, 2020, 08:40:32 AM
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? 
27, August, 2020, 10:37:30 PM
Salanewt: Hey, thanks! 
25, August, 2020, 12:59:22 AM
Foreclosure: Yo! Looking forward for this AI OVerhaul patch when it's finished :) :) 
19, August, 2020, 07:00:17 PM
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.
19, August, 2020, 01:14:56 PM
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?
19, August, 2020, 01:43:07 AM
Salanewt: It sure is! How have you been?
16, August, 2020, 09:40:57 AM
Awec: Yo nice to see this forum is still going
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Salanewt: Hey! How goes it?
01, August, 2020, 01:31:53 PM
KyleRunner: Hello, people!
08, July, 2020, 08:57:11 PM
Salanewt: That awkward feeling when almost a quarter of a year goes by without anyone posting a message in this chatbox.
27, April, 2020, 07:54:10 PM
Daddy Poi's Oily Gorillas: I'm having a thought. So I know Atrius's editor is slow at saving sprites.... So I've been thinking.   I am considering another console program.  This time, for importing and exporting sprites/animations. Image files (for sprites), binary files (for animation data), and maybe binary or text files for Settings. Would certainly be cool if it works out. - Console programs are fun, when you can (at least temporarily) cheat out making a full interface editor for them. =P

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