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My apologies to the dwarven blacksmith

Re-evaluating the utility of melee mithril weapons in vanilla gameplay

Discussion about this classic Genesis/Mega Drive game.

My apologies to the dwarven blacksmith

Postby Ripster » Sun Mar 10 2019 10:41pm

Recently I played though Shining Force 2 for about the 10th time. At some point it hit me that I had never really questioned the mitril weapons I was using, I simply picked the ones with the most attack for melee and with my remaining mithril Id get weapons with spell effects so I could cast them in a pinch.

Other than slade--who I will not mention again because he's a total badass and the gisarme is clearly the best weapon for him--The best mithril weapon for any melee character is the Ground axe, and its no contest.

The characters that can use this weapon all have unboosted move scores of 5 or 6. Base attack is 39. Rune axe, typically considered "the best" has a base attack of 42 and the cast effect of detox 1 (which is approaching zero utility at that stage in the game). Sacrificing 3 attack (when your char may well be approaching 100 total attack) is a very tiny trade for boosting your move by 15-20%. Additionally that extra move may make the difference between your character being able to move far enough to heal a friend or escape an enemy. Any character that can equip this weapon should do so without hesitation.

If you give a move boosting item to a gladiator (bringing them from 5 to 7) and then give them this ground axe, they will have 8 total move. This made Gyan one of the strongest players in my last playthrough.

The second best mithril weapon is the counter sword. This weapon also has 39 attack. It can be used by quite a few classes. Every class except birdmen that can use it has a stronger attack weapon available to them, but that extra utility (+3 attack) is greatly offset by the increased chances of countering the attack. I will spare you my attempt at mathematically nailing down this exact advantage, but if the counter sword increases chance to counter the attack from 5% to 15% (my approximate guesses) that is a 10% additional chance of an attack every time you are attacked without dying. If it is true that chirrup sandals increase the chance that you are attacked by an enemy, the character wearing the sandals should have this sword.

The critical sword, while having a useful effect, has too low of a base attack (just 32) for the utility of the effect to offset that low attack. Still, I approximate that after considering the bonus from additional criticals over time, the base attack for this weapon is more like 36-38. In any application where the critical sword can be used, a counter sword is better, but this weapon is better than advertised.

Biggest waste of the backsmith's time: Levanter, hands down. You have a tiny chance to get this weapon, and it is only +3 attack over the counter sword which is not actually an advantage over time. It is only usable by one character, and it is only his "best" weapon for two battles before you get the force sword. The level 3 spell is nice, but your guy already has access to spells. Levanter wins at fashionquest but is the largest waste of the blacksmith's time.

In conclusion: Everyone other than slade who can equip the Ground Axe or Counter Sword should have one of these two weapons.


PS: I was not able to find exact percentages for the counter sword and critical sword. If anyone could provide the chances for counter/critical attacks we could really determine where these weapons stand on the hierarchy.
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Re: My apologies to the dwarven blacksmith

Postby CirrusAF » Mon Mar 11 2019 8:38am

for GLDT the 2 options are the:
Ground Axe +1 move
Rune Axe +1 critical
the base GLDT critical is 1/16 at 125% dmg
with the rune axe its 1/8 at 150% dmg
you can also get both then equip the rune axe before attacking to still get the +1move

BRN
Ground Axe +1 move
Counter Sword +1 Counter
base BRN Counter its 1/16 then 1/8 with Counter Sword
RBRN its 1/8 then 1/4 with Counter Sword
the Critical sword and Rune axe are very bad weapons as they lose critical dmg (150% to 125%)
this is also the same with NINJ

NINJ you got 2 good picks
Gisarme you all know why this is here
Ninja Katana +1 double attack
the Ninja Katana is the only item to give this Slade will have a 1/8 to do 2 attacks this will up your dmg output vs bosses
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Re: My apologies to the dwarven blacksmith

Postby Ripster » Mon Mar 11 2019 4:36pm

Where are you finding that extra info?? I had no idea certain weapins had more critical damage than others I figured it was a flat x%. Does weapon affect dodge ratio or is that independant?
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Re: My apologies to the dwarven blacksmith

Postby CirrusAF » Tue Mar 12 2019 1:07am

the info just comes from playing the game and testing random things reading the hex values of the game and testing things that other people have said
as for crit values there is a table on the units class where
0 = 1/32 at 150% dmg
1 = 1/32 at 125% dmg
2 = 1/16 at 150% dmg
3 = 1/16 at 125% dmg <- all classes but the one listed here have this value
4 = 1/8 at 150% dmg <- BRN NINJ RBRN
5 = 1/8 at 125% dmg
6 = 1/4 at 150% dmg
7 = 1/4 at 125% dmg
the Robin arrow, Nazca cannon, Critical sword, Rune axe all add +1 to this table when equipped

dodge is based on your move type :thumbsup:
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Re: My apologies to the dwarven blacksmith

Postby Kilieni » Thu Mar 14 2019 9:18pm

Dodge chance is 1 in 32 unless the character being attacked is flying or floating. They have 1 in 8 chance to dodge except when being attacked by Archers, which reset flier and floater dodge back to 1 in 32. Again, this is based on move type but applies to all allies and enemies that can equip arrows. Weapons only affect Crit, Counter, and Double chance and then only rarely.

The Gisarme is unique in that instead of increasing the crit value by 1 it sets that value to 6: 1 in 4 chance to deal 150% damage. The Counter Sword is the only weapon that boosts Counter chance and the Ninja Katana is the only weapon that increases Double Attack chance.

Base Double Chance is 1 in 32, or 1 in 16 for Slade and the Ninja Katana makes that 1 in 8 for the Ninja Katana like Cirrus said.

Base Counter Chance is 1 in 32 before promotion and 1 in 16 after. Hero, Master Monk, Wolf Baron, Red Baron, Ninja are boosted to 1 in 8. Counter Sword will make Hero and Red Baron 1 in 4, or anyone else 1 in 8. Slade cannot equip the Counter Sword. (or Battle Sword for that matter)
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Re: My apologies to the dwarven blacksmith

Postby Siel » Thu Mar 14 2019 9:53pm

Another possible interesting property of weapons that affect the double attack rate (the Ninja Katana) is that they seem to mistakenly blank out the character's counterattack rate data, setting it back down to 1/32. I haven't actually tested and counted to verify this, though.

Edit: Instead of counting, I equipped the Ninja Katana and just took a look at the RAM. Slade indeed went from a counterattack score of 2 to a score of 0, or 1/8 chance to 1/32 chance.
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Re: My apologies to the dwarven blacksmith

Postby Kilieni » Fri Mar 15 2019 6:34am

All I can tell you for sure is that each weapon can modify up to two stats when equipped. (or at least that's what you can modify in SF2edit) In the case of the Ninja Katana, those are Attack and Double Chance.
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Re: My apologies to the dwarven blacksmith

Postby Siel » Fri Mar 15 2019 5:48pm

Yeah, the code that handles the double chance parameter also affects counter chance by erroneously erasing it. Basically, counter, double, and critical are all stored together and that specific function ends up parsing them incorrectly, throwing out the counter part when it gets called by the equipment check.

Interestingly, there's also an unused function that directly overwrites double chance (just like Gisarme changing critical to 6 instead of adding +1) and that one would've properly only affected double chance if it were used, so it looks like the above is almost definitely just a typo instead of being intended.
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Re: My apologies to the dwarven blacksmith

Postby Eric » Sat Mar 16 2019 4:09am

I just want to also point out that the Mist Javelin is a great weapon. 2 range and its the strongest non-curse option.
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Re: My apologies to the dwarven blacksmith

Postby Kilieni » Sun Mar 17 2019 12:59am

Yup. The Mist Javelin is great. Failing that, I'd still take a Valkyrie over either lance though.
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Re: My apologies to the dwarven blacksmith

Postby Runesamurai » Fri Apr 26 2019 2:33am

That butthole doesn't deserve an apology. He should just let us choose what weapon we want him to make for us even if it means paying more.
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Re: My apologies to the dwarven blacksmith

Postby Tamerlane » Fri Jun 07 2019 7:39pm

I always get the Ground Axe for slow 6 MOV Jaha so he can race to the front with Gerhalt and the others.

The only Mithril weapon I always have difficulty getting is the Mystery Staff for Kazin & Karna. Does anyone know the odds for that? I have read that it is 1 in 16, but is that correct ??? :confused:
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Re: My apologies to the dwarven blacksmith

Postby Kilieni » Sat Jun 08 2019 1:09pm

Yes the odds are 1 in 16 for the best weapon. Failing that, next weapon is 1 in 8. Then 1 in 4. If all those fail, you get the worst weapon. It's all explained at https://app.box.com/s/fyswe4larvm1tj5sfhrc

I know I got that link from these forums forever ago. I have no idea who posted it though.
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Re: My apologies to the dwarven blacksmith

Postby Tamerlane » Sun Jun 09 2019 1:42am

Kilieni wrote:Yes the odds are 1 in 16 for the best weapon. Failing that, next weapon is 1 in 8. Then 1 in 4. If all those fail, you get the worst weapon. It's all explained at https://app.box.com/s/fyswe4larvm1tj5sfhrc

I know I got that link from these forums forever ago. I have no idea who posted it though.


Thank you very much! I actually left the village, went to the Prism Flower Field, went back to the village, re-saved so as to reset the probabilities, and then I got TWO Mystery Staffs with four mithril ON THE FIRST GO!!! I was amazed. Good to know how to get out of a probability rut.

Now approaching Zeon for my 40ish time since 1996 or so!!
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