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Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL v2.1.1

update includes faster enemy turns and a turn order viewer

Discussion about the original classic Genesis/Mega Drive game. Posts about the GBA remake belong in the forum below.

Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Sniper Lyle » Wed Jun 13 2018 8:57pm

No, I hadn't touched the rom after initially patching it.

The same thing happened with an archer enemy in the next battle, so it's not one battle or enemy specifically.
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Siel » Wed Jun 13 2018 10:36pm

Huh. I've never experienced an enemy just transforming mid-battle before.

Was it completely fine until the Chaos battle and only started happening then? Does it always happen with the same enemies? When do they transform?

The only thing I can think of at the moment is that the multi-costume check hack I did might have messed things up, but, in that case, it'd be weird for it to only start at the Chaos battle rather than from the beginning or some other earlier battle with as many enemy sprites.

Just in case it is the culprit, I made a patch that reverts the changes to the costume-checking routine:
multioutfit reverter.ips
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Sniper Lyle » Wed Jun 13 2018 11:10pm

The Chaos battle was the first time it happened and the chapter 7 end battle was the only other time so far, so I don't know much about it. Both times it happened after I attacked an unrelated enemy, though.

I still have a state at Chaos, so I'll apply that patch later and see if it happens again.

* Darksol feels like a cruel joke lol. Everyone on my team attacking him at once barely outpaces his regen and that's if nobody misses. I'm glad you made him a challenge because he was a joke originally but he absolutely shouldn't have a dodge chance on top of everything else.
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Siel » Thu Jun 14 2018 6:43am

I... thought I had untoggled that flag from the original. I even vaguely remember realizing the mistake. I guess since I did halve the original evasion rates, I stopped noticing it and ended up forgetting about it.

Well, it's nice to hear another person's nearing the end.

I updated the download link in the main post again with the fix to Darksol's unintended evasion, and here's a standalone patch to just turn off Darksol's evasion.
darksolnododge.ips
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Sniper Lyle » Thu Jun 14 2018 9:19am

And done. I had a lot of fun playing this, the difficulty was balanced well outside of a few battles (I appreciated that it rocketed off into space starting at the Chaos battle, the endgame should be hard and in my opinion it delivered) and the added weapons allowed for way more customization than I usually see from this game.

The twist in Dark Dragon's fight was interesting
WARNING: SPOILER!


There are a few suggestions I'd like to give, so here goes.

Enemy mages would often run out of MP before I could kill them and become useless (except for the endgame ones with a Slow staff, yikes), giving them more MP across the board might be a good idea. Bosses that used magic didn't have this problem.

The Minotaur enemies' stats are fine but their regen should be toned down, it made them harder to kill than most of the bosses, and they were always in groups so they couldn't be safely focused on.

Kane did not scale enough compared to the party I feel, he's usually one of the toughest fights in the game so it was disappointing to see him easily go down in a few turns and not even come close to taking anyone out.

Mishaela is the other boss that I felt was too easy given how hard she was originally, her dodging was terrible but it gave her survivability that she didn't have at all here, and the spell she has now is almost useless so she went from one of the hardest fights in the game to probably the easiest.

I generally really liked the map changes that you made but I think in Mishaela's case it offset the pacing of the battle, since it's just a blob of puppets at the beginning and then the boss.

The Colossus boss gave me a lot of grief, entirely because of the middle head which is almost unkillable with its 50 def+magic resistance, even Earnest couldn't break 10 damage on it. I'd suggest dropping its defense to 45 and raising the move of all three heads to 3 or 4 so they can't be cheesed by archers, which definitely isn't how I ended up beating the third Colossus head. :shifty:


Anyways, thanks for making such a great hack of this game, and also for listening to my generally disorganized rambling. :sleep:


And my final party, for fun;
WARNING: SPOILER!
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Siel » Fri Jun 15 2018 7:07am

Thanks for playing! I'll try to explain how some of those things you bring up came to be.

Dark Dragon:
WARNING: SPOILER!

Mages: Were they really running out of MP that often? They were made frail enough to be jumped on and taken out right away, but I didn't want to completely take out the option of attrition, so I tried to adjust accordingly. The effectiveness of magic was lowered to be about on-par with physical attacks rather than grossly stronger though, so this might not have been necessary.

Minotaurs: They're meant to be like mini-bosses (hence the higher level) that can survive for more than a single action (and show off their regenerative powers), a bit like the earlier shellfish. For that reason, I don't want to lower their initial HP much, but I could maybe try to figure out how to downscale the regeneration. (Currently, regeneration is a hardcoded 25%.)

Bosses: I suppose they are a bit frail. I tried balancing their durability around parties of only 6-7ish physical attackers and the possibility of losing some of them mid-battle, but it might not be enough even then.

Kane's gimmick is a high double attack rate and high critical hit rate, but I guess he doesn't get to consistently show that off if he dies so quickly.

Mishaela is backed up by two enemies (or rather she runs in to join them), so she was made even more frail. Magic is much less devastating in this mod and I didn't want to make a Mishaela-only spell, so I guess she ends up not being very dangerous alone. Maybe I'll slap Demon Breath on her or increase the durability of her followers so that the triple threat lasts longer (or even occurs). Or move some puppets over to be part of those followers.

As for the map, I thought the large detour was unnecessary, so I connected the platforms through the center. This then resulted in running out of map space and me throwing the remaining puppets around the Force's starting positions though, which created the blob, I guess. I liked it being similar to the circus battle, but the enemies being so close and the single narrow passageway might be a problem after all.

Colossus: I lowered their MOV to 2 to allow not drawing their aggro all at once while in that tiny room, but I guess that means they can't chase 5-range attackers with SF1's AI. Maybe 3 MOV could work if I space them out more and/or renovate their room.

The middle Colossus being nearly impervious to physical attacks is intended. It can be left for last and the player gets a few free magical weapons (including the Chaos Breaker) from just chests here and there, so I figured it'd be fine even without dedicated mages or specifically purchasing more weapons. And as you said with Earnest, going all out on ATK to pierce through the high DEF also works. The slight resistance to magic on top of that might have been too much, though.

Healers: I thought about making healing EXP be affected by level difference (like in the GBA SF1, but to a greater extent), so that healers could gain EXP quickly enough to keep up with the rest of the Force (especially in the beginning), but also not then way overshoot the rest. They'd also not be as hurt by status spells not granting EXP (which I also want to change) since they could just rubber band the difference back. This would be a big change at this point though, so I might not implement it in this mod even if I do figure out how to do it.
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Sniper Lyle » Fri Jun 15 2018 8:30am

Yeah, Dark Dragon is still a long and challenging fight that comes after an even more challenging fight,
WARNING: SPOILER!


Mages were almost always running out of MP after a few turns, and since physical attacks are generally so much more dangerous than magic ones there wasn't much incentive to target them until everything else was dead.

Minotaur stats were fine, just the regen was insane. But if you can't do anything about that it's no big deal, they weren't invincible.

Bosses - Marionette and Mishaela both suffered horribly from the weaker magic and neither survived long enough to do any real harm. The two enemies that were supposed to guard Mishaela charged early to join the mob of puppets at the start, so it was just her at the end. The puppets themselves weren't so overwhelming with two people able to use Blast at that point to hit almost all of them.

Elliot and Balbazak were fine. Balbazak was pretty difficult which was a nice surprise, he usually sucks.

Kane originally was almost unstoppable except that magic attacks destroyed him, since magic is much weaker here I don't think he should be at the same level but he still needs his attack and defense buffed considerably. I noticed also that his entourage was pretty wimpy, he used to have two Dullahans with him and I don't think that was too overwhelming.

Removing middle Colossus' magic resistance sounds right, even Max with the Chaos Breaker didn't stand a chance.

Chaos and Darksol, well, no problems with those guys lol.
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby Siel » Sun Jun 17 2018 8:25pm

Download link updated: Kane was made a bit more durable, Colossus was made less durable, and Mishaela was made more painful. A few more minor changes are also noted in the changelog.
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL

Postby chmaster » Sat Dec 01 2018 1:48pm

Just started to play this mod. It looks pretty interesting. Thanks for making it. ^^b

One question. What does CL mean?
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL v2.0.1 (Feb 04, 2019)

Postby Enguix » Wed Feb 06 2019 5:12am

I play this again because I saw update but I don`t comprehend ``Ludicrous Speed`` and what means text display speed by 4 ? There has emulator option somewhere ?
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Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL v2.0.1

Postby Siel » Fri Mar 08 2019 9:17am

To be honest, I just picked these two letters based on my forum name right before making this thread and didn't put much thought into the name beyond that. Maybe it could stand for Challenge Lite or something.

Edit (Mar 08): bumped for v2 update, which includes minor enemy edits, a healing EXP rework, and other gameplay changes in addition to a battle speed up feature
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL v2.0.1 (Feb 04, 2019)

Postby Morath » Sun Mar 10 2019 11:02pm

Great work on v2!
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Re: Gameplay Mod: Shining Force CL v2.1.0

Postby Siel » Thu Mar 14 2019 10:44pm

Morath wrote:Great work on v2!

Thanks! The turn order viewer implementation is a bit clumsy though and I'd like to eventually figure out how to show everything at once in its own bigger box instead of being pseudo-dialogue.

Enguix wrote:I play this again because I saw update but I don`t comprehend ``Ludicrous Speed`` and what means text display speed by 4 ? There has emulator option somewhere ?

Oops, I somehow never noticed your post there. (I even relied on the thread bumping feature because I was pretty sure I was still the last poster since December.)

Anyway, the text display speed can be set during battle via the "SPEED" in-game menu. I couldn't make a new menu and setting toggle, so I just attached Ludicrous Speed to the text speed setting. What Ludicrous Speed then does is speed up the cursor speed (when moving from unit to unit between turns, when returning to the active character after looking around the map), enemy movement speed, and active player return speed (when canceling a character's movement). A side effect is also speeding up vehicle travel speed during story cutscenes (e.g. the horse carriage in chapter 1, if it were possible to set text speed before that point).

In short, it should speed up nearly everything during a battle excepting battle animations without making it harder to control.

One thing to note is that the text speed setting isn't saved to the save file and is reset to 3 whenever the game is loaded via the book girl.

---

Edit: Uh-oh, for this update, I had finally upgraded from v2 to v3 of the SF1 Editor and I did try to check for compatibility issues, but I just found out that v3 completely breaks the use of pre-promoted characters (Domingo, Jogurt, Musashi, Hanzou) if a new game is started. Their map sprites become messed up and entering a battle sequence with any of these characters soft-locks the game. Their starting stats are also greatly inflated.

For now, I've uploaded a new version (v2.1.0) with this fixed, but it'll require starting a new game (if you were on a save file created with v2.0.0 or v2.0.1). I'll try to get a fix working without having to restart the game.

Edit2: Since the damage is already done to v2.0.x save files by inflating the characters' starting stats, making a fix to the game itself that doesn't require starting a new game isn't going to be feasible. I can however provide a patch to fix the characters' sprites and revert their stats, so that affected saves can be continued on.
WARNING: SPOILER!
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