Welcome to the Shining Force Central Forums!
SFC Forums Index Shining Forums Shining Force II
Register for your free forum account now or Login to remove this advert.

[hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Rebalanced classes, higher difficulty, visual improvements, better story

Discussion about this classic Genesis/Mega Drive game.

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby MXC » Tue Jul 31 2018 9:22pm

Yeah, it is a tougher hack, I'm just seasoned ;)

WARNING: SPOILER!
MXC

User avatar
1090
Shining Legend
 
Posts: 25370
Joined: Fri Sep 17 2004 1:48am
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Thu Aug 02 2018 10:28pm

MXC wrote:Yeah, it is a tougher hack, I'm just seasoned ;)

Image

(I'm hoping you get the reference, otherwise I definitely have a game for you to recommend :D)

WARNING: SPOILER!
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

User avatar
Shining Member
Shining Member
 
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Feb 02 2011 11:55am
Location: Seebenstein, Austria

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby MXC » Fri Aug 03 2018 8:19pm

I really do need to play Darkest Dungeon...

WARNING: SPOILER!
MXC

User avatar
1090
Shining Legend
 
Posts: 25370
Joined: Fri Sep 17 2004 1:48am
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Fri Aug 03 2018 9:27pm

MXC wrote:I really do need to play Darkest Dungeon...


Ah, I see you are a man of culture as well.
I really enjoyed that game, despite its flaws. I only wish that the expansions were better, I found the Crimson Court disappointing. Haven't tried the new one yet, though.


MXC wrote:SOMEBODY took out all the good move items. [...] I was going to give the Running Ring to Claude and just let Gerhalt go nekkid but nooooo! I'll just have to use the Ostrich Pendant and take the DEF hit (which is laughable really.)


I agree, the DEF penalty should stack with level or something!!


MXC wrote:But I really can't wait to get mithril weapons!


Any plans yet what you're going to do about those? Let fate decide or are you going to pick & choose?
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

User avatar
Shining Member
Shining Member
 
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Feb 02 2011 11:55am
Location: Seebenstein, Austria

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby MXC » Tue Aug 07 2018 7:16pm

If I want to have any chance of winning without deaths, I need the best. If I make it through Red Baron unscathed, I’ll go that route. If I get kicked around, maybe I’ll just late fate decide. Fortunately, 4 members don’t need weapons!

Edit- On to battle.

WARNING: SPOILER!
MXC

User avatar
1090
Shining Legend
 
Posts: 25370
Joined: Fri Sep 17 2004 1:48am
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Tue Aug 07 2018 10:27pm

WARNING: SPOILER!
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

User avatar
Shining Member
Shining Member
 
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Feb 02 2011 11:55am
Location: Seebenstein, Austria

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby MXC » Wed Aug 08 2018 3:55pm

WARNING: SPOILER!
MXC

User avatar
1090
Shining Legend
 
Posts: 25370
Joined: Fri Sep 17 2004 1:48am
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Tue Aug 14 2018 9:22pm

How are you doing, MXC? Bested Zeon yet?
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

User avatar
Shining Member
Shining Member
 
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Feb 02 2011 11:55am
Location: Seebenstein, Austria

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby MXC » Wed Aug 15 2018 6:20pm

WARNING: SPOILER!
MXC

User avatar
1090
Shining Legend
 
Posts: 25370
Joined: Fri Sep 17 2004 1:48am
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Wed Aug 15 2018 9:35pm

WARNING: SPOILER!
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

User avatar
Shining Member
Shining Member
 
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Feb 02 2011 11:55am
Location: Seebenstein, Austria

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby MXC » Thu Aug 16 2018 7:49pm

WARNING: SPOILER!


Fun hack :) A few characters could be looked at again for balancing purposes but overall, it was a pretty well-done hack that only suffered from one major glitch (above). I enjoyed the rewrites and the battle changes overall. It was cool that I could justify using characters that aren't usually worth a damn. I think I only lost 2 or 3 characters but without a little luck, it would have been closer to 6+. Still, it was challenging and a nice change of pace from vanilla SF2.
MXC

User avatar
1090
Shining Legend
 
Posts: 25370
Joined: Fri Sep 17 2004 1:48am
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Fri Aug 17 2018 12:23am

Thanks! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it, despite the unexpected bugs! I'll definitely look into this. I'm also seriously impressed you managed to finish RtG pretty much with ease.

WARNING: SPOILER!
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

User avatar
Shining Member
Shining Member
 
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Feb 02 2011 11:55am
Location: Seebenstein, Austria

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby MXC » Fri Aug 17 2018 1:52am

WARNING: SPOILER!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
MXC

User avatar
1090
Shining Legend
 
Posts: 25370
Joined: Fri Sep 17 2004 1:48am
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Fri Aug 17 2018 3:57pm

WARNING: SPOILER!
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

User avatar
Shining Member
Shining Member
 
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Feb 02 2011 11:55am
Location: Seebenstein, Austria

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby MXC » Fri Aug 17 2018 5:21pm

WARNING: SPOILER!
MXC

User avatar
1090
Shining Legend
 
Posts: 25370
Joined: Fri Sep 17 2004 1:48am
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Fri Aug 17 2018 8:00pm

MXC wrote:It seems like there was some favoritism to late joiners (the majority of the promoted people). It's a nice change from vanilla, but some of the choices were very obvious for me (Skreech and Lemon in particular.)


No, there absolutely wasn't.

Thing is, I don't really know how the SF2 editor does its level 30 prognosis - what I can tell you is that in the first iterations of this hack I playtested, I found that *every* party member which joins already promoted sucked and was roughly at least 10 points behind in every category at level 25.

So I tweaked the editor numbers and checked what the result in the actual game would be until I was satisfied with the results, and I did this probably about 15 times to have an at least somewhat solid estimation of the endgame stats.
For example, Luke's -7 HP, -15 ATT, -12 DEF and -5 AGI should bring him slightly above Skreech in terms of HP and AGI and slightly below him with regards to ATT and DEF (with an expected promotion level of ~22).


But since you told me that in your game both Lemon, Skreech as well as Gyan were significantly better than their counterparts in your playthrough, I will go back to the drawing board and run a few more simulations. It doesn't seem like this can be explained just by RNG.


Also, thanks for the class reviews. A few notes and questions on that:

- How did Claude do in terms of attack power in your game? Kiwi should have less HP but slightly better DEF than him, by the way (once again, disregarding editor numbers).
- I agree that the SNPRs could perhaps usa a minor damage boost, but I was always hesitant because ranged damage seems disproportionally useful in RtG. They also dish out more damage than their stats suggest anyway thanks to a 1/4 crit chance.
- Zynk should probably get a MOV upgrade, yeah. I don't even remember why I nerfed it in the first place.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

User avatar
Shining Member
Shining Member
 
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Feb 02 2011 11:55am
Location: Seebenstein, Austria

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby Gizmo » Mon Aug 20 2018 11:28pm

Just used this mod, checked it was really applied and it seems like it, saw a reference to the giant spaghetti monster in the school's library, i'm quite sure it's not there in the vanilla game.

About Zynx, i'm always for odd choices in SF2, because this game is more about the characters you choose to cherish, when i use him, i give him 2 running pimentos (1+MOV), or it goes to claude or i just choose to go with the turtle, which i really love.

Still, i feel like Zynx could use a range attack, like a ranged laser to replace his standard attack but it's probably a pain to mod, maybe even impossible ?
What about giving him a unique weapon having this effect ? Like 1-3 range and no damage boost or just 1 if necessary.

And Claude could be invincible, staying stunned for 2 turns when Ko'ed then coming back with 10-20 hp ?

This kind of gameplay change for some of the worst or less used char would be nice, then again, it's probably hard or impossible.

Will give a real feedback after a couple of battles, thanks for the mod anyway, it felt really bad, at fiorst, after the first hype of discovering those SF mods (i had no idea) and then realizing most of them gave you the full force right away and or switching the story/exploration part.

Not that the story is amazing, but it's probably nostalgia and searching for secrets is part of the game, like in suikoden.
Gizmo

Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Aug 20 2018 2:49pm

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby MXC » Wed Aug 22 2018 4:43pm

Promoted members typically aren't great in vanilla because their stats either suck or because their spells aren't that great. I always run around with Claude and only sometimes with Gyan or Lemon (or Zynk very rarely). Outside of that, they only really exist to fill in a gap if you didn't level up someone properly earlier or missed them due to being hidden (if Chester fell behind early, you might be excited to see Higins, for example.)

I just checked Luke and Skreech at level 25 with my game. Luke was -4 HP, -9 ATT, -5 DEF, -4 AGI. I leveled them to 30 and Luke was -5 HP, -11 ATT, -12 DEF, -4 AGI. Comparing their stats to their editor projections, Skreech has +0 HP, +1 ATT, +1 DEF, and +1 AGI, so he's almost spot on. Luke actually was better in my game than the editor being +2/+5/+0/+1.

For your reference, everyone was promoted right at 20, except those that join later.

Claude's attack wasn't great, but good enough for being my shield. His DEF was better than Kiwi's for sure.

The crit chance is good but still, Snipers need some love.

Zynk has always had 4 move and really has always been a bit lost in the fold with the others (same issues here.) Maybe you could use his crit laser as a concept to give him some MP and Lumina :) That would certainly give him something extra (even with his 4 MOV) but staying thematic.

Edit - After combing through the the expected stats (I'm still doing so since my actual stats closely reflected the stats in the editor), I've outlined below a sort of tier system.

Top Tier:

Kazin (SORC) - Great spell selection and progression.
Peter - Not his usual self but still does Peter things.
Karna (CLRC) - Great spell selection and progression.
Higins - Highest stats across all Paladins.
Taya (SORC) - Great spell selection and progression. And for some reason, a lot more attack than some meleers. Is she supposed to have 53 attack instead of 63? lol. She has great stats overall anyway.
Skreech - Still a tad fragile but also a flying assassin.
Jaro - Highest stats across all Pegasus.
Frayja (CLRC) - Great spell selection and progression. Good defense for his class.
Gyan - Tankiest Berserker without sacrificing attack.
Sheela (MMNK) - Way better stats than the other MMNKs with good spells and the MP to back it up.
Lemon - Probably the best character in the whole hack. In fact, he belongs a tier higher.
Chaz (WIZ) - Great spell selection and progression.

Mid Tier:

Sarah (CLRC) - Better spell selection elsewhere.
Karna (MMNK) - Better spells as a Cleric.
Tyrin (WIZ) - Misses out on Bolt 4 but still gets Freeze 4.
Paladin's (Except Higins) - Eric looks better than Chester and Rick, but they're mostly balanced between the three. Higins is just better.
Eric (PGNT) - Eric loses defense to become a Pegasus but Chester and Rick lose more. Jaro is better though.
Jaha (BRSK) - Better than Randolf, way worse than Gyan.
Jaha (BRN) - See above, except with Lemon and not Gyan.
All Gunners - They don't hit too hard but have range and defense. They're all balanced.
Bowie - Just middle of the road.
Gerhalt - There just ended up being better melee characters by the end of the game. He's great in the middle part of the game though, and up through Red Baron.
Zynk - Same as Gerhalt without the mid-game usefulness.
Claude - Same as Zynk, but man can he take a hit. He's more useful than others in this tier but he's not good enough to move up.

Low Tier:

Sarah (MMNK) - Just doesn't have great spells. Karna would be here too if she didn't have Boost.
Kazin (WIZ) - He's much more usable than in vanilla but you could make him a great Sorcerer.
Tyrin (SORC) - No Neptune 2 hurts a lot.
Chester (PGNT) - Poor stats. He might belong a tier up but he's not great regardless.
Rick (PGNT) - Poor stats. Takes a huge HP hit to become a Pegasus compared to the others. Keep him a Paladin.
Randolf (both) - Worst stats in each promotion, compared to the others.
Snipers & May - As mentioned previously, they can't hit hard or take a hit. Their mobility is overrated.
Luke - :drunk:
Slade - Spells can be useful periodically but he'd be better off with his old spells.
Kiwi - At least he isn't Luke.
MXC

User avatar
1090
Shining Legend
 
Posts: 25370
Joined: Fri Sep 17 2004 1:48am
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby NoobX » Fri Aug 24 2018 1:20am

Hello, Greyskies. I'm playing through this hack and I've noticed that the Centaurs are at a somewhat of a disadvantage if not promoted at level 20. Looking in the SF2 Edit, I've noticed that the level they learn Heal at is 21, but since I've promoted them upon reaching level 25 as Knights, none of my Paladins, with the obvious exception of Higins who came prepromoted, have the spell. This probably wasn't intentional, but if it is could you tell me the reasoning behind it? And, also, if it wasn't intentional, how do you plan to work around it?

Other than that, I'm enjoying the hack so far. The battles are tougher, as you intended, but also a lot more interesting, and my tactics had to be altered to adapt. Right now I'm just past the Cameela battle, but with the upcoming exams I fear I won't be able to give you a proper review any time soon.
NoobX

User avatar
Shining Member
Shining Member
 
Posts: 359
Joined: Tue Aug 28 2012 6:31pm
Location: Serbia

Re: [hack] SF2 - RETURN TO GRANS

Postby greyskies » Sun Aug 26 2018 6:32pm

NoobX wrote:Hello, Greyskies. I'm playing through this hack and I've noticed that the Centaurs are at a somewhat of a disadvantage if not promoted at level 20. Looking in the SF2 Edit, I've noticed that the level they learn Heal at is 21, but since I've promoted them upon reaching level 25 as Knights, none of my Paladins, with the obvious exception of Higins who came prepromoted, have the spell. This probably wasn't intentional, but if it is could you tell me the reasoning behind it? And, also, if it wasn't intentional, how do you plan to work around it?

Other than that, I'm enjoying the hack so far. The battles are tougher, as you intended, but also a lot more interesting, and my tactics had to be altered to adapt. Right now I'm just past the Cameela battle, but with the upcoming exams I fear I won't be able to give you a proper review any time soon.


Hi NoobX, thanks for letting me know about this bug, it's definitely not working as intended. This is another one of the tweaks I made long after finishing the hack, when I did no longer remember the precise workings of the SF2 editor. I've now set the level the Paladins learn Heal to 26, so it should work out for future players.

To get the Paladins to learn heal in your game, you'll have to change the heal spell level to 25 + whatever the current level of your Paladin is + 1 in the SF2 editor, so they get the spell after the next level up. Sorry for the hassle :/

I'm glad to hear you're still having fun, and if you ever have the time to write a more extensive review, I'd be happy to read it. In particular so I can find out whether or not Luke sucks in your playthrough as well, heh.

@MXC: Thanks for the detailed character review. I don't want to make major changes 'blindly', i.e. before having the time to playtest them, but for now I've given three characters from your poop list a small stat boost. Hopefully I'll have the time for a playthrough sometime soon, in particular so I can test a solution for the Pit Beast issue.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
.
Check out Return to Grans - A Shining Force II hack which features a completely
reworked story, numerous visual improvements, and tons of balance changes.

Also available as storymode hack only.
greyskies

User avatar
Shining Member
Shining Member
 
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Feb 02 2011 11:55am
Location: Seebenstein, Austria

PreviousNext

Return to Shining Force II

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 2 guests