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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:14 pm UTC
by mosc
I like leveling. I don't understand the aversion to it. I do prefer when random battles can be skipped easily but as long as they don't brake overworld momentum with excessive loading times and can be painlessly skipped by a simple command (flee), I don't see them as a negative.

Over-leveling is easily fixed with more aggressively exponential xp curves. I'd like to see that more widely used as well. Leveling to 99 could be effectively impossible on the same curve that has people leveling every hour or so through the game and finishing at ~50.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:15 pm UTC
by Zohar
I'm not sure I understand what you're talking about. Do you mean things like choosing which sphere grid path (or however they're called in FFXII and XIII) to choose and when? I guess I understand that. Specifically in Chrono Cross a lot of the customization came not from leveling up, but from allocating elements (essentially items and spells) to make sure you're flexible enough to deal with various situations.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:40 pm UTC
by Izawwlgood
Zohar wrote:I felt Chrono Cross did great in that regard - you only level up during story events (after beating specific bosses), all of your characters level up whether they were in the fight or not (important in a game with 40+ characters), and fighting regular battles only gave the characters you played with a few minor attribute boosts from time to time. Then again, that game had no random encounters.

I have to admit, I don't remember this being how you level in Chrono Cross. I was under the impression that leveling occurred by having stats 'tested', i.e., if you whacked a monster with a weapon, your str/agl would increase. I just goggled around, and it looks like it's a mix of the two. After beating a boss, everyones stats increase, and for x number of fights after that boss, the active party sees small random stat gains. I also thought CC had random encounters, similar to the way CT did - enemies were often visible and maybe avoidable.

Man. If I had to play a game with that system in place now, I would probably just quit. Being able to level up, as mosc said, so long as the process isn't unnecessarily tedious with dead time and loading, is a good thing in my mind.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:04 am UTC
by rmsgrey
mosc wrote:I like leveling. I don't understand the aversion to it. I do prefer when random battles can be skipped easily but as long as they don't brake overworld momentum with excessive loading times and can be painlessly skipped by a simple command (flee), I don't see them as a negative.

Over-leveling is easily fixed with more aggressively exponential xp curves. I'd like to see that more widely used as well. Leveling to 99 could be effectively impossible on the same curve that has people leveling every hour or so through the game and finishing at ~50.

The trouble with situations where 1 fight in the next area gets you more XP than 100 in the current area is that you're again shutting less skilled players out of the game by requiring them to spend hours in each area maintaining enough level advantage to survive in the next area (or beat the next gatekeeper boss).

The fundamental problem is that what's over-leveled for one player can be under-leveled for another - and the more of an "action RPG" rather than a purely stat-based affair the game is, the worse that problem gets - if player skill makes a difference, then it makes a difference, and a reasonable range of accessible character levels is needed to balance that...

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:29 pm UTC
by mosc
rmsgrey wrote:The trouble with situations where 1 fight in the next area gets you more XP than 100 in the current area is that you're again shutting less skilled players out of the game by requiring them to spend hours in each area maintaining enough level advantage to survive in the next area (or beat the next gatekeeper boss).

The fundamental problem is that what's over-leveled for one player can be under-leveled for another - and the more of an "action RPG" rather than a purely stat-based affair the game is, the worse that problem gets - if player skill makes a difference, then it makes a difference, and a reasonable range of accessible character levels is needed to balance that...

"hours" is an over-statement. Over-leveling is still possible it's just curved against, as is under-leveling. Difficulty on a game with FIGHT and HEAL as two choices with bosses that deal damage to one or less to all is pretty easy to balance at this point.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 2:58 am UTC
by rmsgrey
mosc wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:The trouble with situations where 1 fight in the next area gets you more XP than 100 in the current area is that you're again shutting less skilled players out of the game by requiring them to spend hours in each area maintaining enough level advantage to survive in the next area (or beat the next gatekeeper boss).

The fundamental problem is that what's over-leveled for one player can be under-leveled for another - and the more of an "action RPG" rather than a purely stat-based affair the game is, the worse that problem gets - if player skill makes a difference, then it makes a difference, and a reasonable range of accessible character levels is needed to balance that...

"hours" is an over-statement. Over-leveling is still possible it's just curved against, as is under-leveling. Difficulty on a game with FIGHT and HEAL as two choices with bosses that deal damage to one or less to all is pretty easy to balance at this point.


If the goal is 1 hour per level, and you have a straightforward system where each level requires r times as much XP gain as the previous level did, then it will take r hours to gain an extra level, r2+r for 2 extra levels, r3+r2+r for 3 extra levels, and so on. Maintaining a 3 level advantage will mean it takes you r3 hours per level rather than 1. If r=1.05, that's most of an extra 10 minutes per level, or most of an extra 8 hours for a 50 hour game (not counting the three-and-a-quarter hours getting those levels in the first place). A 5 level advantage means you're spending more than an extra 15 minutes per hour of designed gameplay - including time spent getting those 5 levels, the 50 hour game now takes over 70 hours.

The notional benefit of exponential XP requirements is that it nudges players back to the designed level for a given point in the game - which has, as an unavoidable logical consequence, the cost that it nudges players back to the designed level for a given point in the game even when that level is not actually suitable for that player at that point.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:26 pm UTC
by Quizatzhaderac
rmsgrey wrote: A 5 level advantage means .....the 50 hour game now takes over 70 hours.
A game with 50 hours of expected combat now has 70 hours of combat. So that's more like a 100 hour game becomes 120 hours. That's also assuming a level x+5 character in a level x area is earning xp at the same rate as the player that can do that at area at level x.
Also assuming that there are no ways to deliberately gain xp if that's your main goal.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:11 am UTC
by rmsgrey
Quizatzhaderac wrote:
rmsgrey wrote: A 5 level advantage means .....the 50 hour game now takes over 70 hours.
A game with 50 hours of expected combat now has 70 hours of combat. So that's more like a 100 hour game becomes 120 hours. That's also assuming a level x+5 character in a level x area is earning xp at the same rate as the player that can do that at area at level x.
Also assuming that there are no ways to deliberately gain xp if that's your main goal.


It's not just the time spent in combat that scales up - it's also the time spent between combats either waiting to trigger another encounter, or going to heal/shop in order to recover from combats - all the other time you spend while gaining that 1 level/hour...

And, yes, it's assuming that this player with an x+5 character performs the same as the designed-for player with an x character - in fact, they may perform worse since it presumably takes more hits for the enemies to kill them than it would at the designed level.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:53 pm UTC
by charliepanayi
So, yeah, Final Fantasy XV is out 30th September.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:41 am UTC
by mosc
Am I wrong? It looks like a third person beat-em-up more than an RPG. I want FFX-like combat systems.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:55 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
mosc wrote:Am I wrong? It looks like a third person beat-em-up more than an RPG. I want FFX-like combat systems.


I want FFIX-like combat systems (though with bankable limits rather than being forced into a useless Trance at the end of a fight because the last action put you over the threshold) - in particular I want enough party members that a single KO isn't tantamount to a TPK...

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 5:22 pm UTC
by mosc
FFX you could scroll ahead and see the turn order. It was like ATB but as if it stopped when each person's action came up. It also gave you the option to switch in guys so you could make use of a larger cast. It's not that different than the ATB system (which is my next favorite) other than everyone's ATB freezes the instant somebody's turn comes up. If you do that, then there's no point in having the bars at all you can just give a turn order, which is exactly what FFX did.

Strategic. Paused with no time sensitive inputs whatsoever (wish the limit brakes didn't have em).

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:47 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
Problem with X was the way only party members who took an action in combat got experience from that combat - meaning that if you didn't deliberately pass actions and swap characters in and out, you ended up with one or two characters getting most of the experience, and even if you had a slow character in the default party at the start of a fight, they might never get any experience...

Patch in a decent way of spreading experience around, and have 4 active party members, and I'd be happy.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:15 pm UTC
by Zohar
Yeah, switching out all the party members every single battle was pretty tedious (not that I mind tedious too much - for example I like the Draw system in FFVIII). I wish more games went the Chrono Cross route where all characters gain the same amount of XP (more or less), whether they're in the party or not. It's especially nice when you're forced to use/not use specific characters by the story.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:11 pm UTC
by freezeblade
Zohar wrote:Yeah, switching out all the party members every single battle was pretty tedious (not that I mind tedious too much - for example I like the Draw system in FFVIII). I wish more games went the Chrono Cross route where all characters gain the same amount of XP (more or less), whether they're in the party or not. It's especially nice when you're forced to use/not use specific characters by the story.


I know it's blasphomy, but I liked VIII's magic/GF system more than VII. *hides from thrown tomatoes*

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:35 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
freezeblade wrote:
Zohar wrote:Yeah, switching out all the party members every single battle was pretty tedious (not that I mind tedious too much - for example I like the Draw system in FFVIII). I wish more games went the Chrono Cross route where all characters gain the same amount of XP (more or less), whether they're in the party or not. It's especially nice when you're forced to use/not use specific characters by the story.


I know it's blasphomy, but I liked VIII's magic/GF system more than VII. *hides from thrown tomatoes*


Yeah, the only real problem with VIII's magic was a combination of deciding how much to Draw on any given occasion (spend 15 minutes Drawing from the first enemy you encounter with a new spell in case you don't come across it again, or Draw once or twice at each opportunity) and being unable to bring yourself to cast anything you have Junctioned to anything in order to keep the stats high...

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:41 pm UTC
by mosc
FF8 was a buff-fest physical attack game. Magic wasn't really useful per say, more just something you hoarded. "Cast UItima!? I'd have to leave here, fly half way around the map, and walk over here just to fill up again! I'll just attack for two turns instead, just takes a second..."

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:42 pm UTC
by Zohar
I think I pretty much always drew as much as possible, with all three characters (which was very frustrating when I couldn't junction to magic for everyone...). I think the only spells I really used were aura and maybe curative spells? Status magic was reserved for attack (and was awesome), elemental magic reserved for elemental defense, triple for speed, etc. There was enough variety with the GF abilities to allow me to play flexibly, although I did use spells on rare occasions when it was easy to get them back (for instance I don't think I cast more than one or two ultimas in all my playthroughs).

One of my favorite things about the game was figuring out the best combination of GFs on my characters, and how to setup all of their spells.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:25 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
Zohar wrote:One of my favorite things about the game was figuring out the best combination of GFs on my characters, and how to setup all of their spells.


Yeah, there are combinations that let you Junction every Junctionable stat on all three party members.

Once I got elemental attack and defense junctions, I liked setting it up so that each party member attacked with one element and blocked/absorbed another as a cheap way of breaking Confuse. Of course, once Ultima comes online, Junctioning that to Elem-Def is a no-brainer (at least for general play - if you're optimising for a particular situation, it's probably best elsewhere). One minor optimisation for early Draws is to only draw a couple of spells in the very first combat, then Junction them to Magic - next fight, as you Draw more, they enhance your Magic stat, and make your Drawing more efficient (upgrading later, if you've Drawn to around the break-even point where the new spell provides about the same stat as the old one, then stopping and replacing before continuing in the next flight is optimal, but requires you to have an idea of the break-even point, so probably isn't worth it)

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:44 pm UTC
by Quizatzhaderac
@freezeblade: I didn't get the encyclical proclaiming the draw system to suck.

It was interesting and innovative and added more engagement with the environment. It also happened to be somewhat grindy and awkward.

Were I to do a remake, here's what I'd do.

Groups on junctionings (called paradigms) could be switched between characters or equipped unequipped.

For each spell you have a current number of that spell and a max number. Junctioning uses the max number.

You can draw only once from each draw point or creature species. This increases your max amount (also your current number the same amount).

Resting at an inn fully restores current spell numbers. AN item similar to a tent or pet house restores a fraction of your spells.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:03 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
I'm not convinced that making grinding impossible is an improvement over making grinding highly valuable.

There are strong balance reasons for including the option of grinding to allow players to get past a hump (one of the minor issues with 8 was enemies leveling with the party - making grinding less effective, so forcing those who needed it to do even more).

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:28 pm UTC
by mosc
FF8 had leveled enemies but the spell progression was capped which put firm tiers on it anyway.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:00 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
Biggest issue with 8's enemy levels was the few enemies that got harder to beat with higher party levels - once an enemy's HP passed the damage cap, improving your party's attacks stopped helping...

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:16 pm UTC
by Dark567
rmsgrey wrote:Biggest issue with 8's enemy levels was the few enemies that got harder to beat with higher party levels - once an enemy's HP passed the damage cap, improving your party's attacks stopped helping...
If you structured your stuff right it actually hurt for you to grind out levels. You were better off to find ways to get low XP but high GF points to give you a bunch of GF abilities at low levels. I've beaten the game easily at levels as low as 12 being able to do pretty massive damage.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 7:08 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
Dark567 wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:Biggest issue with 8's enemy levels was the few enemies that got harder to beat with higher party levels - once an enemy's HP passed the damage cap, improving your party's attacks stopped helping...
If you structured your stuff right it actually hurt for you to grind out levels. You were better off to find ways to get low XP but high GF points to give you a bunch of GF abilities at low levels. I've beaten the game easily at levels as low as 12 being able to do pretty massive damage.


Yeah, at a minimum, you want to unlock the ___ Bonus abilities at as low a level as possible since they boost your stats every time you gain a level. In principle, Devour could help, but I believe you only get stat boosts from Level 30+ enemies, and only for some stats...

There are guides out there on beating the game at level 7 (your starting level) so it's not like level-grinding is essential...

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:07 pm UTC
by Quizatzhaderac
rmsgrey wrote:I'm not convinced that making grinding impossible is an improvement over making grinding highly valuable.
It is if you start with the assumption that grinding is undesirable.

However, you are right in that there should be a way to get over humps, and that I didn't consider that. But I would suggest the best place to look for a fix is the system of empty leveling.
The junction system FF8 had still wasn't that great for getting over humps because because you'd end up hitting the cap in the number of spells you could hold.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:47 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
Quizatzhaderac wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:I'm not convinced that making grinding impossible is an improvement over making grinding highly valuable.
It is if you start with the assumption that grinding is undesirable.


That's not an unreasonable assumption to start with, but if you're going to scrap grinding, you need to offer some other way of getting its benefits.

Grinding can be defined as any in-game mechanism which allows you to convert time spent playing into in-game power with little or no risk, and little or no skill, and without making narrative progress, used purely to gain in-game power rather than because it's fun.

Obviously, if a player's doing something in the game which they don't find fun, there's something of a problem there. Okay, that's not always true - the price of having a game which isn't just doing the same thing over and over until the end is that some player will like some parts of the game more than others - provided the not fun parts are things they can get through without too much effort or attention, they're an acceptable price for giving something to the players who really like them (the Gummi Ship sections in KH2 come to mind, or Triple Triad in FF8 - there's a lot of depth there for people who want to dive in and explore, but players who don't like it can largely ignore it). The real problem comes when you have a part of the game that no-one (or almost no-one) thinks is fun - like grinding.

So, why does grinding exist? It's at least partly historical - cRPGs owe a lot to pen-and-paper RPGs like D&D (some more visibly than others - Baldur's Gate, for example) and in D&D, the gradual accumulation of experience points as you adventure, granting periodic boosts to your character's power level, and enabling you to unlock new abilities and tackle new monsters is a core part of the experience. What's lost in the translation to video games is the role of the DM in adjusting experience gains and adventures to suit the players' skill and progress - instead, every player faces the same bosses at the same points in the plot, but, whether through variation in player skill, or through differences in attitude and approach, players will be at different power levels at that point. Which is where grinding becomes beneficial - when a player reaches a tough boss, their options are to give up, to get better at the game, or to go and increase their character's power level so they can win without needing to improve. Allowing grinding lets players with less skill still progress through the game (and players with more skill increase the challenge by avoiding gaining levels).

That's what needs to be replaced if you want to ditch grinding - a way to allow players to make the game easier for themselves when they hit a wall, so they can get through to more of what they enjoy about the game.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Thu May 12, 2016 10:13 pm UTC
by Zohar
ZOMG FFX/X-2 HD has been released for PC today! INSTANT PURCHASE.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Thu May 12, 2016 11:41 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
Zohar wrote:ZOMG FFX/X-2 HD has been released for PC today! INSTANT PURCHASE.


With a 20% launch discount for the first week, no less. Much bitching about the lack of "dual audio" (You can have English audio with European language subtitles, or Japanese audio with Oriental subtitles, but no mix-and-match) - though apparently it took less than half an hour for someone to get around the "technical issues" and create a mod that allows it...

It's going to sit in my library uninstalled for a while though - got VII to finish, then probably IX - and that's when I'm not playing other things... Basically, just another game added to the backlog for someday...

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Fri May 13, 2016 1:26 pm UTC
by New User
I never knew why Final Fantasy X got such a bad rep. I liked it from the first time I played it, and I consider it my favorite Final Fantasy game. And one of my favorite video games of all time.

I've been playing Final Fantasy Explorers for the past month. Anybody else played it? In brief: the gameplay is good, the story is barely existent. I also like to call it "MMORPG Jr." I'd like to see similar gameplay with some added challenge and variety, in a game that has an actual story. Then again, I don't think I've seen a good story in a video game since... Final Fantasy X.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Fri May 13, 2016 1:57 pm UTC
by Zohar
I loved FFX, and even FFX-2 was good - pretty fun, and a lot of the story was good, if you ignore some of the more cringe-worthy scenes. I guess a lot of people complained about the voice acting and linear nature of the game. Personally I felt FFX had one of the most coherent world-building of any FF, great music, a good leveling system and fun combat (except the need to swap everyone in-and-out), and interesting characters.

New User wrote:Then again, I don't think I've seen a good story in a video game since... Final Fantasy X.


Saying you haven't played games with good stories probably says more about the games you've been playing! Just some games from recent years that I remember playing that had awesome stories are Undertale, Tomb Raider, Valkyria Chronicles, X-Com, Transistor, Bastion, some of the Assassin's Creed games...

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Fri May 13, 2016 2:00 pm UTC
by Izawwlgood
FFX tugged on my emotions at just the right time when I was at my angstiest. It had a lot of great things going for it, but I definitely think of it as 'one of those game stories I fell for because I was 16 and felt so much'.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Fri May 13, 2016 2:02 pm UTC
by Zohar
I was 19 or so. I guess I'll find out how I feel about it now.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Fri May 13, 2016 2:44 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
New User wrote:I never knew why Final Fantasy X got such a bad rep.


After the (comparatively) open worlds of earlier Final Fantasy games, X's extremely linear pilgrimage trail was a disappointment; Blitzball is divisive; the requirement to give everyone who wants experience an action in combat slows grinding down; the Sphere Grid lacks planning support; the airship sucks.

There's a lot in common between XIII and X when it comes to their flaws - they're both a big step up in terms of graphics from the previous console generation, but both much more linear. It's less an open world, and more a well-wallpapered corridor...

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Fri May 13, 2016 2:48 pm UTC
by Dark567
rmsgrey wrote:There's a lot in common between XIII and X when it comes to their flaws - they're both a big step up in terms of graphics from the previous console generation, but both much more linear. It's less an open world, and more a well-wallpapered corridor...
Yeah, X was a good game, but clearly was the start of some negative traits that Final Fantasy started to adopt over the next couple games.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Fri May 13, 2016 4:08 pm UTC
by Zohar
Personally I think X's world design was much better than XIII's. Might have something to do with being able to go back and forth, and that it has actual towns, as opposed to the very isolated feel of FFXIII. FFXII didn't have any of those issues (I would say my main problem with that game is I have almost no memory of the game).

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Fri May 13, 2016 4:33 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
Zohar wrote:Personally I think X's world design was much better than XIII's. Might have something to do with being able to go back and forth, and that it has actual towns, as opposed to the very isolated feel of FFXIII. FFXII didn't have any of those issues (I would say my main problem with that game is I have almost no memory of the game).


Yeah, 12's main problem is the story doesn't seem to be terribly well told.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Fri May 13, 2016 4:39 pm UTC
by Dark567
Zohar wrote:Personally I think X's world design was much better than XIII's. Might have something to do with being able to go back and forth, and that it has actual towns, as opposed to the very isolated feel of FFXIII.
Yeah, XIII kinda took where X was going to the extreme, but a lot of the same ideas started with X(zone by zone progress, no world map etc.)

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Fri May 13, 2016 10:14 pm UTC
by KnightExemplar
Zohar wrote:ZOMG FFX/X-2 HD has been released for PC today! INSTANT PURCHASE.


Not that I'm going to play it (I overplayed FFX to the point that Yuna was doing 9999 damage per whack with her girly attack animation and was eating (the easier) Original Creations for breakfast each morning).

But... is this the one with the "European" sphere grid and the Dark Aeons?

Zohar wrote:Personally I think X's world design was much better than XIII's. Might have something to do with being able to go back and forth, and that it has actual towns, as opposed to the very isolated feel of FFXIII. FFXII didn't have any of those issues (I would say my main problem with that game is I have almost no memory of the game).


I think that the crappy Zelda-esque dungeons where you'd "go here to grab sphere" broke up the monotony of adventuring and overland movement. FFXIII really had no puzzles at all.

Not that FFX's puzzles were any good mind you, but they existed and were more memorable than "yet another long hallway". Both games had long-hallways, but FFX had more variety in the hallways. And Blitzball if you really needed to escape the hallways for some reason. X was a fine game IMO. I don't think its the greatest, but it isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination. I think its story was 8/10. I can think of better stories off the top of my head, but there was a lot to enjoy in X.

XIII on the other hand... Sazh and Vanille were literally the only characters I cared about. It was difficult for me to get into a story when I just didn't give a care. I realize Lightning was basically being the "stoic ex-soldier" like Cloud was... but at the same time, I never was drawn into FFVII's story either. I think that trope just doesn't work well with me. With that said, I guess that means I actually liked FFXIII's story more than FFVII's story... (yeah, shoot me. I know that's probably sacrilegious to say around here).

Because I can honestly say I was genuinely interested in Sazh and Vanille. I dunno if it was the chocobo hiding in the dude's hair or something, but I really did appreciate their storylines.

-----------

FFXIII also had an "auto-battle" problem. "Auto-battle" was too good. Playing the game on "full manual" was more enjoyable for me, and required fast-paced decisions and timing. Even if you're in "Commando" mode, choosing when to attack vs when to Blitz manually required more thought than hitting "auto-battle".

The problem was, auto-battle played approximately as well as I did, or even better at times. Especially because auto-battle seemed to take into account the effects of Libra, and even attempted to automatically discover weaknesses on its own. Pausing the game, looking over elemental weaknesses and all that in FFXIII greatly improved the depth and difficulty of the game (especially since the game was "realtime"). Alas, the effort often felt wasted, since the easy-mode "auto-battle" button was always just... sitting there.

I can say that the battle system was good. I enjoyed it. But I had to ignore that auto-battle button.

Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 1:27 am UTC
by rmsgrey
KnightExemplar wrote:FFXIII also had an "auto-battle" problem. "Auto-battle" was too good. Playing the game on "full manual" was more enjoyable for me, and required fast-paced decisions and timing. Even if you're in "Commando" mode, choosing when to attack vs when to Blitz manually required more thought than hitting "auto-battle".

The problem was, auto-battle played approximately as well as I did, or even better at times. Especially because auto-battle seemed to take into account the effects of Libra, and even attempted to automatically discover weaknesses on its own. Pausing the game, looking over elemental weaknesses and all that in FFXIII greatly improved the depth and difficulty of the game (especially since the game was "realtime"). Alas, the effort often felt wasted, since the easy-mode "auto-battle" button was always just... sitting there.

I can say that the battle system was good. I enjoyed it. But I had to ignore that auto-battle button.


That's not a new problem for the series - well, the specifics are, but there's a general problem with combat ceasing to involve skill or interesting decisions long before you run out of enemies to fight through - over the years, the manifestation has changed from using memory-cursor and mashing the OK button, to autofire on OK, to 12's gambit system to 13's auto-battle, but the main effect is the same - being able to coast through large numbers of battles without paying any attention to the game, let alone making decisions. To be fair, it's not just Final Fantasy that has this issue - there are a whole lot of games where the core game-play loop is all about whether your character's stats are high enough, rather than any sort of player skill - games where you have to work at it in order to be able to lose.

The issue with auto-battle, of course, is that it takes the players out of the loop entirely, not just once they've "solved" combat sufficiently well to win on autopilot.