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Messages - Maelstrom

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Crimson Echoes / Re: How to Beat Demo 2.0 (and eventually beyond)
« on: September 03, 2006, 09:55:39 pm »
Based on the plot thread, I presume we are just shy of being halfway through development (at chapter 7 of 16).  Is this a fair assessment of how far along we are, plot-wise?

Crimson Echoes / Re: Known Bugs & Beta Testing
« on: September 03, 2006, 09:23:51 pm »
I think wackiness that ensues from delivering the Shamsir can be averted if the "Shamsir" is based off of one of the broken Masamune pieces instead of one of Crono's swords.  Crono cannot equip it, nor can he sell it, so it would seem to be reasonably "idiot proof."

When rescuing Ayla, the room with the puzzle ideally should remain permanently solved.  If you return later, you won't have to solve it again.  Also, the players are "stuck" if you enter the next room but try to leave!

This topic is new.  I am running two threads in addition to the Enemy Stats thread by CyberSarkany.

The reason for splitting the discussion up this way will make sense eventually.

I think.

Regarding Magus's spells, based on feedback, I want to take the spells from 18 to 16 and I guess lower the MP cost to 6.  For the sake of consistency, I think it would be fair to increase the other characters' similar spells from 14 to 16.

To some extent, Magus deserves stronger magic, but he gets that automatically from having a relatively high Magic rating.  Granted, "fixing" the level 2 spells hurts Magus, but I think that imbalancing could be offset by "fixing" the ultimates.  Magus has the weakest magic attack ultimate (Dark Matter has a base power of 38, whereas Shock has 40, Flare has 42, and Luminaire has 50), so bringing all of the base powers to the same quantity (say, 42) would help out Magus.

This is the thread where we compile just about every stat except for enemy stats.  Whereas the "Equipment, Shops, and Treasure Chest" thread is designed more from the standpoint of the flow of the game, this thread is designed to encompass "balance."

This first post is reserved for those stats.  It will be a little while before I start posting substantial content, because we need to have a sense of what we are balancing first (hence the other thread).

Techniques (MP): Power/Effect -- Both MP and Power/Effect are changable

  • Cyclone (2): 125% ~ 10
  • Spincut (4): 200% ~ 16
  • Confuse (12): 362% ~ 29
  • Slash (2): 10
  • Lightning (2): 12
  • Lightning2 (8): 14
  • Luminaire (20): 50
  • Life (10): Revive/10

  • Provoke (1): Confuse
  • Haste (6): Haste
  • Ice (2): 11
  • Ice 2 (8): 14
  • Aura (1): 5
  • Cure (2): 14
  • Cure 2 (5): 24
  • Life 2 (15): Revive/Max

  • Hypno Wave (1): Sleep
  • Protect (6): Safe
  • Flame Toss (1): 6
  • Fire (2): 11
  • Napalm (3): 12
  • Fire 2 (8): 14
  • Mega Bomb (15): 32
  • Flare (20): 42

  • Rocket Punch (1): 137% ~ 11
  • Robo Tackle (4): 21
  • Uzzi Punch (12): 312% ~ 19
  • Laser Spin (3): 10
  • Area Bomb (14): 30
  • Shock (17): 40
  • Cure Beam (2): 14
  • Heal Beam (3): 10

  • Slurp Cut (2): 137% ~ 11
  • Leap Slash (4): 225% ~ 18
  • Frog Squash (15): 10
  • Water (2): 11
  • Water 2 (8): 14
  • Slurp (1): 5
  • Heal (2): 6
  • Cure 2 (5): 24

  • Rollo Kick (2): 154% ~ 14
  • Cat Attack (3): 220% ~ 20
  • Rock Throw (4): 330% ~ 30
  • Triple Kick (20): 407% ~ 37
  • Dino Tail (15): 9
  • Charm (4): -
  • Tail Spin (10): 40
  • Kiss (1): 14/Heal

  • Magic Wall (8): Shell
  • Black Hole (15): -
  • Lightning2 (8): 18
  • Ice 2 (8): 18
  • Fire 2 (8): 18
  • Dark Bomb (8): 25
  • Dark Mist (10): 25
  • Dark Matter (20): 38

Crimson Echoes / Re: Enemy Modification
« on: September 02, 2006, 09:00:51 pm »
I can do #1-#3 fairly easily on my own and just give an .ips patch.  From an effort standpoint (on my part), they are all quite cheap.

I think what I'll do is use the SilverStud and downgrade the level 2 magic.

Crimson Echoes / Re: Enemy Modification
« on: August 31, 2006, 10:33:20 pm »
This may seem a little off topic, but it substantially affects Beast Mountain, so it seems relevant.

I've done some research to see what sort of tricks we have at our disposal regarding Magus and Beast Mountain.  Ultimately, the problem with Magus is that he has no "weak" spells to speak of.  Each of them costs 8+ MP (very much unlike the other heroes -- half their skills are 4 MP or less), and he starts with 14 Max MP.  As is, Magus is ineffective as a magic user at this point of the game, so some adjustments may be in order.  We could...

1) Kick Magus up a few levels (to 5 or 10).  By the time he joins the other heroes, his levels should have covered some of the gap, and it isn't like he would completely outclass the other characters.

2) Put a SilverStud in a Beast Mountain chest.  Cutting MP costs in half would help a bit, and while this is a pretty strong accessory for this point of the game, the same really could be said for Magus's Amulet.

3) Downgrade the power and cost of his level 2 spells (Fire2, Lit2, Ice2).  This isn't entirely a drastic idea, because his level 2 spells use a base power of 18, whereas other characters with level 2 spells use a base power of 14.  Taking his base power of 18 (for all 3 spells) down to 14 would put him in line with the other PCs, and decreasing the cost of level 2 spells for ALL characters to ~6 MP could be justified (this affects a lot of characters, but level 2 spells *are* a bit overpriced).

4) Cannibalize an existing spell to make it weaker and inexpensive.  For this action to "make sense," you would need to choose a spell that is unique (this eliminates Lit2, Fire2, Ice2) and is something that could feasibly tweaked without changing lots of undocumented code (which I was unable to do with Black Hole).  The logical remaining candidates would be Dark Mist and Dark Bomb.  Dark Mist would be preferable, but it's problematic in that Dark Mist is the sixth spell learned.  It's a pretty easy task to have Magus start off having learned his six spell, and you don't even have to teach him all the spells before it.  However, if you want him to learn earlier spells, he will have to "relearn" Dark Mist later (he won't ever "forget" the spell, but he will have to earn the TP again, and after having done so, the game will report he has "learned" Dark Mist).  That's probably not a "glitch" we want to have in the final product, and letting Magus start with his first six spells is a bit much.

4a) The last option is to instead sacrifice Dark Bomb and make that a weak and cheap spell.  There's no "harm" in having Magus start with having learned four spells instead of just three, but it seems a tad cruel to neuter Magus's ONLY single-target (well, nearly single-target) attack spell.

I would advise against 4 and 4a, but some combination of the first three seem appropriate.  It may not be so necessary to empower Magus to use spells throughout Beast Mountain, but it would be kind to allow the player to be effective with spells during the eventual boss battle (Golem's pattern of Iron Orb + physical attack is hellacious against single-character parties, so allowing Magus to use more magic would give a player a means of keeping damage in check).  Making Ether available for sale and/or putting a couple Ethers in chests is an option that can help things out, but I would not rely on them alone to fix the MP problem (they're too expensive).  Or we could do nothing, and just have Magus use his melee attack.

So, please advise.

I actually like the idea of using the Red and Blue beasts, but would they be able to attack on their own?  I always remember them needing to be provoked by that nigh-invincible Imp.

Crimson Echoes / Re: Text Issues
« on: August 30, 2006, 03:26:23 am »
I think I really only paid attention to type 1, so here are the ones I've found:

Roget: @ "meet"
"...someone wearing vigrant clothes like that in the southest..." @ "that"
Magus: "These were the catacombs beneath Zeal" @ "catacombs" (pending revisions)
Man (talking to Dalton): "...any of us knew the power..." @ "the"
The Chancellor: "he is sending an envoy, and you must attend!" @ "and"
"They're going to speak about the assassination" @ "about"
Belthy (when he tells the party to fetch Magus): "Anyhow, I'd start with Magus" @ "I'd"
Belthy (when speaking of King Zeal after the party meets him): The first "That man" @ "man", the second "That man" @ "That"
When Schala and Magus talk: "But we are together" @ "But"
(Medina 1002): "And the new Elder is a warmongering buffoon." @ "warmongering"
(Vanguard Post 602): "I heard the Viper clan in Porre" @ "the"
Frog: "Unfortunately, this envoy had quite a few magic users in it." @ "few"
Frog: "...set back peace relations with the Mystics to pre-war levels" @ "relations" (pending revisions)
The big NPC at the Porre "Cafe": "Maybe he'll join that new Vanguard!" @ "join"

Other text issues are listed below (T = Technical -- A = Artistic/Debatable):

T: "Glenn had this order chartered in 601 A.D.," does not need the comma. (Vanguard Post)
T: "seeya around some time, Prince" probably should use "see ya" (Medina Square)
T: Roget's "Oh are you Crono?" could use a comma after "Oh."  "Brains of this outfit" needs to be indented, or the rest of the text bubble needs to be un-indented in order to achieve consist formatting.  The same applies the end of his speech sequence.
T: "Hm, hope I stay in this form..." could use some sort of adjustment, such as adding an addition "I" before "hope" in order to make grammatical sense.
T: Magus: "These were the catacombs beneath Zeal" runs a bit too far to the right (move Zeal to the next line; you'll need to do the same with "made" on the next line).
A: "1.5425 years to be exact" seems like a period of time that would make 2 years a rather rough estimate.  "1.9178 years to be exact" would be a little more reasonable.
T: "Doan when to Arris Dome, and is officiating it" should have "Arris" indented.
T: "It seems like a blink to us" could use an indentation.
T: "normal human.  Our organic material..." could use an indentation.
T: "It seems... Someone's trying to shut them off!" should probably make "Someone" lowercase.
T: Melchior's "Well... Things became hectic" should probably make "Things" lowercase.
T: There's a blank speech bubble after Magus's "Bribery..." speech bubble that ought to be removed.
T: Marle's "You have to have that baby" needs "to" to be indented.
T: "Ayla wish you luck!  Come visit!" needs "luck" indented.
T: "Chapter 3: Old Friends, New Enemies" seems odd because we already have a Chapter 3 (when the party added Magus to the party).
T: "It's a tough material and conducts their energy if we manage to..." needs a period after "energy" and needs to capitalize "if"
A: "It's amplifying the power hugely!" is technically correct, but "hugely" seems like an odd word.  "greatly" or "immensely" would seem more appropriate for Belthy to say.
T: Belthy (when speaking after the party meets King Zeal): "A great evil seems to have returned" needs one fewer spaces before "returned".  The second sentence could use some clean-up, possibly like "That man... oh, how could this have happened?  That man is from Zeal.  His power is extraordinary!"
A: Crono can reply with "But who is he?"  I thought the kid was supposed to be a mute.
A: "For now, we need Glenn's aid more than ever." might make more sense as "Now we need Glenn's aid more than ever."  The player also needs to know why we actually need Frog so badly.
T: Schala's "Thank you ....everyone" has an ellipse and a period before everyone.  Get rid of the period.
T: "I have no memory of what has transpired.  Only...pain..." might make more sense as "I have no memory of what transpired, only... pain..."
T: Medina (1002): Regarding the NPC calling the new Elder a "warmongering buffoon", moving "the" up to the previous line would make a better speech bubble fit, espcially if you take "the killing of the Elder" and move "of" to the previous line.
T: Tata's "I run this place now, why don't you help a friend out?" could be "I run this place now.  Why don't you help a friend out?"
A: Frog: "...set back peace relations with the Mystics to pre-war levels" -- Removing "peace" may add clarity.
T: Frog: "...relations with the Mystics to pre-war levels" -- The word "to" should be hit down to the next line.  You then have to bump "there" (towards the end) to the next screen.
T: Frog: "Okay, I'm in." has one too many spaces before "Okay"
T: (Frog) The last line in the next bubble needs an indention.

Crimson Echoes / Re: Known Bugs & Beta Testing
« on: August 30, 2006, 02:26:15 am »
Yes sir, I found the other topic on the second page.  I'll move the text-related issues to that topic [DONE].

This thread is dedicated to the idea of balancing data related to the progression of equipment and the availability of equipment and items.  The names pertaining to equipment is not so important right now (unless it's something important like the Masamune), since the names will depend on the power and behavior of the equipment.  Enemy data will be significantly impacted, so it's prudent to work out the principles now.

The list will be partial for now and will be developed as I explore more ideas and progress through CE.

Finally, the skillset I offer is listed in my intro.  So for example, if you want me to create a "Slumber" sword (one that can put the target to sleep), I can do that!

The Start
They may be great heroes, but gameplay dictates we restore them as weaklings.  CML will start with rung 1 equipment.

CML can buy equipment upgrades to take their attack and defense up a notch (to rung 2).  Of course, they won't get to use it much before Magus's scenario.

Guardia Castle (1002 AD) has lots of treasure chests with their original (powerful) prizes.  Ideally, I would think these should already be open (or simply removed).

Beast Forest
Magus can start with a rung 3 weapon (something he can use once he joins the party) and rung 2 armor, but that will still result in a massive attack power drop.

Lower left chest: Ether
"Remove" Upper left chest (we'll use it in Zeal Ruins)
Upper right chest: SilverStud.  Also, move it a little higher up and to the right, into the alcove.
Last chest: Magus-specific armor (tier 3)

Note: Beasts are somewhat annoying in that each attack power boost they get is very substantial (damage increases from 10 to 50, and presumably it would increase to 90 after two attacks against it).  This increase of 40 seems to be "fixed," which makes things a bit dangerous if we wanted to make these creatures require 2 hits to kill - if Magus ever misses, he's dead meat.  The alternative would be to compel Magus to use magic (which would one hit kill all enemies), but the guy is going to need lots of Ether to do that, and the stuff isn't cheap (even if it were for sale).  Beasts do drop a lot of GP, but that's already something that disrupts the gameplay balance. -- So, it seems that we are stuck with one hit KOs against the beasts.  [Alternatives: Tweaking Beast's Evade and/or Speed]

Hiding Place
New chest: Ether? *shrugs*

Bottom floor chest: Change VedicBlade to Power Glove (we can make it worth more than +2)?

Back to the Present
Nothing worthwhile comes to mind.

Back to the Future
Too short to matter.

Back to the Present II
Finally, we've got some action.  No need for new equipment yet, though.

Back to the Future II
Enter Robo, with tier 2 armor and weapon.

Melchior can sell Tier 3 *weapons* to CMR, I suppose.

If we make the Tusk Helms male-specific, they'll function decently (see Tata's Shop)

Zeal Ruins?
The first chest seems to be leftover and hence should be empty, removed, or replaced with something like a Magic Scarf (we can make it worth more +2 if desired).

The next two chests can be level 3 armor (female and male).

The next item can be, I dunno, Ether.

602 AD
Enter Frog with level 3 equipment.

More coming...

11998 BC Shop
(add Ether)

Tata's Shop (602 AD)
In addition to standard items, he can/should sell level 3 armor (male and female) and level 3 female helms.

Other Notes
It appears that although characters can be made to equip each other's weapons, certain parts of attack animations and sound effects will still correspond to the those designed for the old character.  As such, Magus is pretty much stuck with the four weapons he has, so they must be awarded sparingly.  Fortunately it seems that Magus is unavailable for much of the game, so this may not bother gameplay too much.

Crimson Echoes Plot Construction / A Thing About Frog
« on: August 29, 2006, 07:00:22 pm »
"I hate that formal crap"
"a bunch of raging hicks"

I'm all for dropping Frog's overly archaic speech, but I wonder if the changes are going too far.  This is only my opinion, but I think a point we should not compromise is the fact that Frog of old was without an ego.  For example, we can change the first sentence to something more like this:

"Formalities are not necessary"

It's just an idea...

Crimson Echoes / Re: Known Bugs & Beta Testing
« on: August 29, 2006, 06:45:45 pm »
I've been grinding through the beta a second time and trying to simultaneously identify prudent gameplay adjustments (the "reason" I'm here) as well as ponder other issues with the game.  I've identified a number of "extra things" along the way, but I'm exhausting myself too much with the other things (and perhaps not paying as much attention to the gameplay as I need to), so I am halting the process of recording problems/suggestions outside of my realm for the time being.  So, I'm posting my grand list of "other things."

As sort of a primer for what I am saying, when I mention text "borking" or "fubaring" or what-have-you, it pertains to the fact that the text distorts after the message finishes displaying.  I also mention a number of formatting issues, but how they are addressed ultimately depends on how we want to format the text in the speech boxes.  [EDIT: Moved to "Text Issues"]

The other sort of nagging thing is Frog (he's the main reason I gave up).  From an artistic standpoint, I'll restrict my analysis of him to another thread.



The telepod equipment (in the square near Guardia) probably should be gone.

(You know this already, but...) Zeal Ruins Location is hairy

The ability to exit Chronopolis and not re-enter is a little problematic, even if we are just dealing with an in-house beta.


If a player doesn't have an .srm save yet and the player starts the ROM, music plays for a fraction of a second before the prompt to select battle-mode, which is a bit odd.

The user is only prompted to name precisely three characters at the start.  Will further flexibility be granted later?

If you sleep in Chrono's bed, you start so far up the stairs the next day, he warps back up if he tries to to walk down.

The guy in Porre is still selling jerky.

"Oh, you're looking for Renault.  I last saw him in the chapel" is said even if you have not advanced the story to the point he is actually there.

If you sell your Lead Sword before you give Renault his sword, you get a new Lead Sword!

Crono's mom's line doesn't change after you deliver the three items.

Three places in the upper left stairway of Guardia Castle don't play music.

When the Time Egg malfunctions, it seems that the party should show a little more urgency by running away earlier rather than giving long elaborations.

When CML find Magus, the pause before the fade-out is about a couple seconds too long.

Yes, warping people directly to the Porre base is probably a good idea.

The Sergeant at the Poore base probably should face the party when talked to.

The "free grenade" seems a bit...forced, particularly in that everyone is "KO" and then everyone is "normal" just a little later.  Maybe an attack focused at countering Crono (and he'll be reduced to his near-death pose) would work better, but even if that is infeasible, it would help as long as characters would only return to the near-death pose after their stint in the KO pose -- you could return them to full-stance later in the dialogue, but it would seem more "natural" if the transition was more progressive (KO, then near-death, then normal).

The fadeout should probably happen three seconds earlier.

Towards the end of the nighty-night music, there's a flash of the picture from the previous scene; this should be removed.

The party needs to face the strange guy when he talks to them (when they reach the Epoch).

In the three Blue Imp fight, the third character is positioned on the lasers and creates a graphical glitch.  Moving her/him/it up may resolve it, but that doesn't fix the fact the battle is cramped.

Going to the second screen of Mystic Mtns screws up things (PCs do not appear).

Should the "InstrumentP" need to remain the inventory after solving the puzzle?

Ayla's "shocked" look (after the Nizbel fight) doesn't seem like a good expression.  It's important for her to actually look weakened/vulnerable (since she's said to look that way), like she does when she's near-death in battle.

When returning to Zeal, Martello's picture (in combat) messes up a little bit.  Moving it's position down a tad ought to fix it.

The next room with two treasure chests will "trap" a character if the player opens the chest while standing inside of it.

(redundant?) It'd be handy if Magus could the menu to take some Tonics (and allow him to be killed for a Game Over by enemies during the escape).

Vanguard Post (602)
The stairs don't seem to behave like "stairs."


This is a bit later on, but it was memorable enough to recall it: When the party has its talk with King Zeal at 64999998 BC, there is a long period of time when the party and Zeal just stay put while spewing their dialogue.  Even if re-positioning them would disrupt the flow plot, it would seem appropriate to have them do some sort of gestures.  They need to act out *something* to keep the player's attention.

Crimson Echoes / The "I'm Lost" Thread
« on: August 18, 2006, 09:30:28 pm »
I've already had a question like this before, so I may as well just face up to the fact I'll need some help.  And often.

So I picked up Frog, and I am supposed to be looking for this tunnel to the north of Medina (602 AD).  Of course, I can't find it.  There's this "mountain" of sorts to the West, but it has no opening.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Crimson Echoes / Re: Enemy Modification
« on: August 16, 2006, 02:28:28 pm »
5 TP is too much for a weak enemy as well.

Buying 10 Tonics isn't exactly hard to do, and slowing down the player is a sound idea.  However, I am concerned that those beast fights will get redundant, and I think if you want to crank up the difficulty of the beasts without compromising the interest of the player, you need to introduce another type of enemy (or two) into these groupings.  One of these enemies can be made either significantly more dangerous or significantly weaker than the other one or two types, forcing the player to set priorirites.

The Elixirs seem like overkill this early in the game; while using magic is a useful way to limit the pain from the Golem, you have to level-up before you even get *two* castings of a spell, so spending those Elixirs isn't particularly cost-efficient.  The main problem with Magus's magic is that all of his spells cost 8+ TP (and his level-2 spells are already stronger than the other level-2 spells to boot, so just lowering the TP cost isn't the answer), and Magus as a level 1 creature was never planned for by Square.  If Magus had a 4 TP or less skill, and he was picking up Ethers instead of Elixirs, I could see magic making some sense in the Golem fight, but that's not the beast we are dealing with here.  His physical attacks are plenty strong as-is, anyway.


Crimson Echoes / Re: Dream Team List / Roll Call
« on: August 16, 2006, 01:52:03 pm »
Howdy all.

I'm sort of in charge of dictating enemy stat changes, but I will list some other skills I offer that I can do without TF (I will assume anything I can accomplish inside of TF can already be done).  Many of them will be redundant, but a handful may prove useful.

Changing initial character stats: This skill seems well-covered already.

Changing weapon stats: This includes power, price, and one special effect (slow, chaos, strong against "magic" enemies, "Demi" against vulnerable enemies, death, slumber, 4x damage critical, etc), but other abilities are discussed below.

Changing armor/helmet stats: This includes defense, price, and one special effect (haste, safe, chaos protection, etc), but other abilities are discussed below.

I can dictate certain stat changes for weapons, armor, helmets, and a handful of accessories: Power, Speed, Stamina, Hit, Evade, Magic, and Magic Defense.  However, any stats I change must be changed by the same amount.  The stat can range from -128 (which would nullify any chosen stats) to +127 (which would max out any chosen stats).  The maximum number of different stat combination changes allowed is 127 (or possibly 128 if you count the "default" action of no stat changes, which I've never tried changing).  You can make useful accessories this way (because let's face it, +10 STR is worthless compared when compared to the effect of overpowering accessories, like PrismSpecs).  This was a pretty exciting discovery for me!

I can change who can use certain equipment.

I can change elemental protection and scale that protection between 0% and 75% (0%, 17%, 29%, 38%, 45%, 50%, etc).  I can do this with multiple elements, but all elements must be changed by the same amount.  Making a character "weak" to an element under any circumstance is not truly possible, but you can make them relatively weak by having alternative armor protect a little bit against all elements, and then the next armor would provide either no protection (weak) or heavy protection (strong) against other elements.  These changes can done in addition to potentially one "absorbed" element (so an armor could absorb fire, be "neutral" against lightning and shadow via small elemental resistance, and then be "weak" to water).  Absorption is available for armor/helmets only, but elemental resistance is available to ALL equipment.

I can change how certain items and equipment can be used/sold/etc.

I can change the price, power, and sometimes even the type of effect by a certain item (but the animation will probably be wrong).

I can change store information, but that ability is redundant.

Character tech (limited): I can change their power and TP cost.  I can also sometimes change their effects, but the animations will still be wrong.  Still, I found changing power and TP cost to be a little useful in previous work!

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