Sunday, 15 March 2015

Development Update #2 Healing!

I understand that there are some people who are anticipating a next release and probably aren't too fond of me just giving updates (rather than an actual release), but it's better than nothing and I'm sure there are those that would appreciate it. 

One of the areas of the game that has changed fairly significantly since the last update is the way healing is balanced. So for this update, that will be the topic of discussion.  

Healing Changes

After given a lot of thought, I felt that it would be appropriate to properly analyse healing and how it affects the game. Currently, the general power of healing is increased compared to the base game, since enemies generally do a lot more damage. In tougher fights, this meant enemies could kill you very quickly, but healing also very easily restored your health, even if you're very low. Some of the changes listed previously have affected this, but I've decided that I want to move away from 3.0's burst damage/healing style as much as possible, so there will be further changes to account of this.

Ideally, taking damage should be a much lower pace. But healing should also be scaled down. Currently, healing values are a bit over-tuned -- so reducing those across the board (in addition to enemy damage) is something I am currently in the process of doing. -HP level is also something that enemies, particularly bosses will inflict a lot too. You can see that with the Serpent boss fight. Increasing the MAX HP of all party members is also something I've done to accommodate this. 

What does this mean?

ReDux should be about fairness, balance and overall providing more enjoyment to the combat, while still being much more difficult. In past iterations, you'd often feel 'on edge' in most battles. There was always a threat of being quickly bursted down, and if you didn't act upon it immediately, you could be in for some serious trouble. For that reason, you absolutely had to dedicate to healing/recovery before anything else in those situations. That said, healing was/is very easy -- you could just throw out a heal or two and be on top form again. Therefore, the pattern of which you heal (or don't heal) is rather predictable. And if the enemy chain attacks you before you have the chance to  heal, you could easily die.

These changes hope to balance this much better. If you take a round of damage from the enemy, you should no longer be forced to heal, and can instead set up attacks, or debuff, defend etc... There's no immediate pressure to patch yourself up. But if you wait too long, you could still be in trouble, because healing itself is much weaker. Relying on stronger healing spells could result in running out of mana fast. Therefore, even though there's no immediate threat if your health levels are currently good, you need to balance out using higher efficiency healing over time or stronger healing to leave more room for other actions. This ultimately gives you a greater scope of control.

Healing Paradigms

In the previous post, I listed how each of the basic healing spells would scale. They followed a similar scaling/idea as past versions, just to give you an idea on how the scaling system worked. In reality, while the general usage of those spells are the same, the values and purpose of each of them has changed a bit. The premise of them is still 'higher cost = bigger heal' but the idea around that is more heavily varied. Heal/Alheal are still quite cheap -- in terms of efficiency/speed they outclass the other spells and are therefore safe options to cast at all times. You can throw one of them out sparingly without too much threat to your mana pool, but if your health is low, they're not going to secure your safety immediately, although the total HPS over time is quite good. 

Healer and Alhealer aren't too expensive either, and heal for much, much more. In terms of healing per mana cost they are by far the best healing spells. However, they have a fixed cast time that is rather long to execute (Think Invoke). They are very efficient cost wise, but are unreliable to say the least -- you may get cancelled due to them being quite slow. And overall, while the immediate healing is rather good, the total HPS over multiple turns is not the best. These spells are good if you have the time to use them, and can save you from immediate danger, but don't rely on them too much. Getting cancelled can result terribly.

Healer+ and Alhealer+ are the go-to panic spells. They are huge in cost, are relatively fast to cast, and heal for a lot. They don't heal that much more than Healer/Alhealer, but the fact they cast almost immediately makes them excellent in certain situations. 

In regards to lategame values, here are all the healing spells. Listed is the maximum healing value.

POWER: 120
MANA: 12
CAST TIME: 0.5 second
Sue, Feena, Liete

MANA: 15
CAST TIME: 1 seconds
Justin, Liete


POWER: 220
MANA: 14
CAST TIME: 7 seconds
Sue, Feena, Liete

POWER: 130
MANA: 18
CAST TIME: 8 seconds
Justin, Liete


POWER: 230
MANA: 26
CAST TIME: 1.5 seconds
Sue, Feena, Liete

POWER: 140
MANA: 36
CAST TIME: 2 seconds
Justin, Liete


POWER: ---
MANA: 10
CAST TIME: 10 seconds
Justin, Sue, Feena, Rapp, Liete

POWER: 999
MANA: 34
CAST TIME: 2 seconds
Self cast only
Removes all negative status effects and debuffs

Resurrect is very cheap, but the cast time is extremely high. Do take in account that pretty much all enemy abilities cancel later on. And on expert mode, you'll have a hard time cancelling them before they do so to you. Remember though that spell haste on equipment do make a huge difference to Healer/Alhealer/Resurrect. If you want someone to specialize in healing, that statistic is the way to go. Not going for spell haste will likely make Heal/Alheal the spells of choice most of the time (As a side note, only Justin has access to the best spell haste equip in the game, potentially making him the best AoE healer / reviver if you want to build him that way!).

Yes, Rapp still has no targetable healing spells. But he does have resurrect now, and a self heal that restores him fully. His super large HP pool couple with his low defense and resistances, make him far more inefficient to heal than other members of the team. So he can help that cause, so to speak.

Healing items are toned down quite a bit, and healing spells out of combat are disabled aside from Heal, Alheal and Resurrect which have a fixed power / MP cost. This is just to streamline things and make it so items out of combat are still useful. In combat, healing items are still great for conserving mana in longer fights. Barring in mind all this, healing spells share mana pools with status removal and buffs. Dying is a much bigger deal in ReDux complete (due to the huge cast time on Resurrect) so waiting to revive in order to cure status is no longer very optimal. And since Vanish is gone, you'll want to save your mana pool for buffs too, especially to counteract debuffs (or using refresh).

What about Invoke?

After a lot of thought, I've decided to remove it. The patterns in which it was used wasn't too good for the flow of the game, in both normal fights and bosses -- and the lack of inventory space does mean that MP restoring items can definitely be a balanced way to manage mana in longer dungeons. For boss fights, the existence of invoke meant I either had to make it too hard to use, or balance fights around it. It also meant that the player is inclined to use all their SP for it and seldom use weapon skills (especially for Feena/Liete). That said, Liete does still have a unique means of gaining mana, albeit slightly differently. You'll see.

Blue Medicine will be dropped often at all stages of the game. It's quite a bit weaker than in previous versions (same amount of MP restored, but spells cost way more), but it's cheap and accessible and you can use it in combat. Yellow Medicine is also cheap and accessible, but cannot be used in combat. SP restoration are what basic attacks are for. 

Deep Blue Potion cannot be bought and Magic Lamp no longer exists. Mana management will be a lot more difficult than in previous versions. For the most part, inventory space will be a limiting factor as opposed to say, gold. And while using a Blue Medicine in combat is way faster than Invoke, the amount of MP restored is much lower.

Through testing, Invoke just didn't seem to work as well as I thought it would in practice. It solved some problems but created others. The newer system seems to work much better. Truth be told, the limited inventory in Grandia is a blessing rather than a curse, since resource management becomes far more balanceable as a result. So compared to previous versions, I have decided to take advantage of this aspect even further -- turns out it is a stronger solution.

As for a release? Well, I can confirm that finishing this is currently an absolute priority. It will be done when it's done. 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Development Update

Hey everyone. Just submitting this post to let everyone know that the full release is on its way. While I won't dedicate to a release date, hopefully it shouldn't be too long. I've been very busy recently so I haven't been able to spend as much time on it as I like, however steadily but surely, It will be in the final stages.

For now though, I can talk about all the changes that are coming for the full release. And if you wish to discuss them or offer advice, then feel free to do so in the comments. Some of these are still work in progress and I will be updating this post with future information and updates. 


Base HP Increases

Enemy base damage has increased slightly, but generally, you'll be taking more hits before dying. The purpose for this change is to merely reduce enemy burst potential -- and giving you more breathing room in-between actions, or edge cases where a single character gets focused down. Defense also becomes less essential too. This is mainly a change for the early game, of course. Current changes are listed below:

  • Justin: 124 HP
  • Sue: 93 HP
  • Feena: 161 HP
  • Gadwin: 328 HP
  • Rapp: 427 HP
  • Milda: 375 HP
  • Guido: 289 HP
  • Liete: 156 HP

Merely lowering enemy damage would have made defense and healing too powerful, so this is the ideal solution. There are also some additions to starting inventories to help out in the early game. 


Weapon ATK Changes

Weapons now have much more ATK values and therefore will become much higher deciding factors on damage output. Characters such as Feena and Liete should strongly benefit from this change and/or those who you choose to not focus on STR improvement. As a result you can be assured that your party members will always be able to do relevant damage with their physical attacks. This is partially a decision due to the general nerfs to Feena's previous strengths, such as buffing or healing. It also means that SP restoration through basic attacks will always be meaningful, even for Liete.

The extent of this change is more than you'd think. Weapons in the lategame now have up to 300 ATK. Feena and Liete's natural STR deficiencies are no longer a big factor. Do remember though that physical resistance generally means the amount damage you deal will be around the same as before, so this only really benefits them. Granted, some skill ratios have been changed around, so don't expect Liete to be dealing 5000 damage with Smite (Redshock).


Movement Changes

Many of you were concerned with movement in combat so some tweaks have been made. Base movement has been increased slightly, and Move Mushrooms have been improved for those tougher battles where you need the extra boost. In fact, buffing items are now incredibly cheap -- in essence your limits on them is essentially inventory space. Guard Mushrooms have now been added too which can certainly protect a party member being focused fired early on.  


Starting Abilities

Characters will now correctly start with the abilities they should (No more learning 20 spells at once Rapp, sorry!). As a side note, Sue now starts with Water magic, and 'Rah Rah!' is now appropriately a water skill. Additionally, Milda and Guido are also being tested with magic. More to follow on this.


Dynamic Ability Scaling

Previously, skills and spells had fixed attributes that were only altered through the Disc 1 / Disc 2 switch. Now, abilities will instead grow over the course of the game. Sue's 'Rah Rah!' for instance, will gain more healing power as you progress. This also includes the SP/MP costs of abilities. Naturally, your capacity to cast spells should remain similar as you progress, in return for gaining stronger. For the most part, this will affect healing/support spells the most, which can now scale appropriately, while having the MP costs required to reduce healing spam and keep enemy damage to a reasonable level, even on harder difficulties.

For example, let's look at the Burn line of spells. The separated values indicate intervals in the game. Note that the '+' symbol indicates the the abilities can continue to grow, but the mana cost would not increase further as a result.

POWER: 80 | 110| 140 | 180 | 220+
MP: 8 | 10 | 12 | 14 | 16

POWER: 180 | 210 | 240 | 270 | 300+
MP: 18 | 20 | 22 | 25 | 28

POWER: 320 | 330 | 340 | 360 | 380+
MP: 30 | 32 | 34 | 36 | 38

If you'll notice, Burn grows at a much more relative rate than Burnflame (from its base values). Same as Burnflame is to Burnblaze. This is because lower level spells are meant to be merely mana efficient and/or faster to use early on, while a spell like Burnflame is immediately powerful when you first learn it, with a high cast time to boot. Late game however, each spell will have the same cast time, and the advantage of Burnflame or Burnblaze should mainly be its area of effect, as opposed to damage. This allows lower level spells to be useful in the lategame as actual damage spells that are a bit more mana efficient. As for Invoke, it will also scale throughout the game.

Also, let's look at the basic healing spells:

POWER: 50 |60 | 70 | 80 | 90+
MP: 8 | 10 | 12| 14 | 15

POWER: 120 | 125 | 130 | 140 | 150+
MP: 18 | 20 | 22 | 25 | 28

In the same manner, Heal end ups being the mana efficient option. Barring in mind that early on, the Heal spell will be a bit faster and would have scaled from water levels. This applies to all lower level spells when learning a higher level one, so take that into account.  

POWER: 35 | 40 | 45 | 50 | 60+
MP: 12 | 13 | 14 | 16 | 18

POWER: 70 | 75 | 80 | 85 | 90+ 
MP:  18 | 21 | 24 | 28 | 32

POWER: 120 | 120 | 120 | 125 | 130+
MP: 30 | 34 | 38 | 42 | 46 

Once again, Alheal remains the most efficient. As a side note, the reason the mana costs ramp up so much on Alhealer and Alhealer+ relative to their power scaling is because of how they are boosted with either water levels or Magic+ on equipment. The maximum amount of healing is equal to twice the base power. So upon learning Alhealer, it'll only heal for 70. But in the lategame, it can heal for a possible 180. Meanwhile Alhealer+ can go from 120 to 260.

Justin only has access to AoE healing while Feena can only use single target healing (Tree of Life not included, which of course is now a weapon skill). Liete gains access to all of these spells, so her inclusion to the party immediately makes the MP costs appropriate. Rapp still no longer learns any healing spells, with the exception of Resurrect. On that subject -- Resurrect now works very similarly to Invoke. Its mana cost is surprisingly low, but the cast time is very high and there are no longer any items on Disc 2 that can revive in combat.  All Resurrection Potions become spoiled, but they sell for a lot. So don't be too conservative with them on Disc 1 unless you want the money!


Spell Reworks

  • Gravity: Renamed to Enfeeble. No longer causes paralysis. Instead, reduces the ATK level of target enemy. Bosses are still immune.
  • Stram: Renamed to Cleanse. No longer reduces ATK level. Instead, is an ally cast spell which resets all buffs/debuffs (With Vanish and Boost being gone, this will be an excellent tool for saving allies who are massively debuffed).
  • *NEW* Shock: Lightning spell which paralyses a single enemy.
  • Shock (old): Renamed to ShockAll.
  • Freeze!: No longer deals damage. Instead, reduces WIT of all enemies. Bosses are still immune.
  • Cold: No longer reduces WIT. Renamed to Chill!. Deals low damage with 100% chance to cancel attacks and massive IP knockback. 
  • Vanish: Renamed to Anger. Reduces all stats by 1 level. No longer targets allies (Clarification: With bosses dealing more debuffs and being immune to both -STR/-WIT, this is an appropriate rework. Player buffs will now 'stick' but with increased MP costs, a less powerful Time Gate, and the removal of Boost, requiring Vanish resets to balance them out is no longer needed).  



  • Quests and map events have been modified or improved. Save hint messages have all been rewritten where appropriate, and various sidequests and dialogues have been changed to offer a reward or have closure. For example, the Clara's letter quest.

  • A potential early pass of the re-translation/writing project! At the very least, a grammar/spelling check will be completed for the release (for the original text). More to follow. Will be separate for both the original game and ReDux.

  • Difficulty modes to be added. There will be three difficulty modes with the release: Casual, Standard and Expert. The standard version will be very similar to the Demo release, but slightly easier overall. Casual mode will have weaker enemies, mostly in regards to IP speed (WIT) and tweaked skills. However, all rare drops are disabled. Expert mode on the other hand, have more powerful enemies, with stronger skills, stats and more specific weaknesses you'll need to take advantage of to succeed. But in this mode, rare items/equipment have an increased chance to drop, with some exclusive to this mode.


And more...

  • A trailer will be released with the final version, and I'll be advertising and submitting Grandia ReDux to the modding/hacking community in full force.
  • A dedicated website for the project.
  • As well the above, all enemies/items/equipment/abilities will be listed on the site from the get-go.

Apologies for no recent updates -- I wanted to make sure I was at a stage where I had finalized changes for the full release, and that they've been tested thoroughly. I don't want to be making dramatic changes post release so I want to make sure it can be as good as possible. The re-dialogue/translation side project will be put on priority afterwards as planned.  Thanks for the patience!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Grandia ReDux Complete Demo Release

Merry Christmas! While ReDux Complete is still being finished in some areas, I have decided to release an earlier demo as I’m sure many people would like something to play for the time being! Not only that, but this is a good opportunity to gather feedback outside of previous testers. Feel free to fill in the feedback Q&A and post it either here in the comments or by email ( Preferably the latter, but it doesn't matter too much.

Here is the rundown for the demo:
- This demo goes up to the Serpent boss fight in the Typhoon Tower. The Lama Mountains will be unavailable afterwards (it’ll still be on the map, but the game will not allow you to proceed).
The demo is set to normal difficulty.
Otherwise the demo is (mostly) complete. Some rare drops are inaccessible (either because they are locked to hard mode, or certain item types aren't enabled yet – offhand poisons being one of them, which is exclusively rare). Some descriptions on items/equipment may or may not be complete either or be inconsistent.
For those who have been testing previously, spell/item balance will be a couple patches behind (Because yes, Tremor/Quake are still broken and I’m a bad person).
Remember to patch an original version of the game (Disc 1) as always. Keep an original backup etc etc…
Save files made for this demo will be perfectly usable for the full game. Some character equipment/stats may be slightly tweaked for the full game but not enough to require a restart.

Camping Tent currently does not work (buy Resurrection Salves instead).
If a character’s MOVE is exactly 30 during the Squid King or Ganymede boss fights, then that character will freeze/bug out during ‘Suck In’ (This bug is also present in the original game, so fixing this will be tricky).

Q&A for the demo:


1)   What’s your favorite improvement/change to ReDux Complete?
2)   What do you think still needs improving?
3)   Any new aspect you dislike or should be reverted?
4)   Overall thoughts on the demo?


1)   Thoughts on the new SP system?
2)   Do you feel invoke is useful and does it better balance MP constraints?
3)   Any overpowered spells or skills you feel exist?
4)   Any underpowered spells or skills you feel exist?
5)   What’s your opinion on the new spells or specific ones?
6)   Could spell availability be tweaked for certain characters (Should X character have X spell for instance?)


1)   General thoughts on the item/equipment revamp?
2)   Any over/underpowered items/equipment that could use tweaking?
3)   Any equipment niches/types you feel could be added (or needs removing perhaps)?
4)   Any item slot you feel could use a bit more variety still (for certain characters specifically)?
5)   Your thoughts on the movement stat changes?


1)   Overall thoughts on difficulty and enemy balance?
2)   Any specific enemies you feel could use tweaks?
3)   Which bosses you feel could use improvements (in terms of balance/strategy factor)?

Feel free to answer those questions (no matter how brief!). Your opinions matter!





Saturday, 9 November 2013

Glossary of Terms (Equipment)

Here is a list of terms for properties. This should be useful for understanding the effects of each piece of equipment in the game. Each property has been placed within an appropriate category.

Basic Statistics

[ATK] = Increases physical attack damage
[DEF] = Reduces physical damage taken
[ACT] = Increases speed on the IP gauge
[MOVE] = Increases movement speed

Attack Modifiers

[Combo+] = Increases your amount of combo hits by 1
[Critical+] = Increases your amount of critical hits by 1
[Volley] = Increases your amount of combo hits by 3
[Range+] = Increases attack range with basic attacks
[Fury] = Increases the amount of SP gained when attacking (~33%)
[Might] = Attacks will knockback the enemy
[Stun] = Chance to stun the enemy briefly when attacking
[Break] = Chance to reduce the enemy's defense when attacking
[Ignore defense] = Ignore the enemy's physical defense when attacking
[Pierce] = Ignore weapon resistance when attacking
[Absorb] = Restores a % of maximum health when attacking
[Warp] = Warp to the enemy when attacking
[Cursed] = Chance to damage self or other allies when attacking
[Slayer] = Ignores both physical defense and weapon resistance when attacking a certain type of enemy

Status Effects

[Poison attack] = Chance to inflict poison when attacking
[Plague attack] = Chance to inflict plague when attacking
[Para attack] = Chance to inflict paralysis when attacking
[sleep attack] = Chance to inflict sleep when attacking
[M.block attack] = Chance to inflict magic block when attacking
[S.block attack] = Chance to inflict skill block when attacking
[Confuse attack] = Chance to inflict confusion when attacking
[S.death attack] = Chance to inflict sudden death when attacking


[Block] = If damage taken is lower than a certain value, reduces damage taken to 0
[Counter] = Reflects damage taken when attacked
[Sturdiness] = Reduces IP knockback when attacked
[Temper] = Increases the amount of SP gained when taking damage (~50%)
[Lucky] = Chance to warp away from enemy attacks, avoiding them completely


[Magic resist] = Reduces damage or effects of all elemental skills and spells
[Fire resist] = Reduces damage or effects of all fire type skills and spells
[Water resist] = Reduces damage or effects of all water type skills and spells
[Wind resist] = Reduces damage or effects of all wind type skills and spells
[Earth resist] = Reduces damage or effects of all earth type skills and spells
[Status resist] = Reduces chance to be inflicted with all status effects
[Poison resist] = Reduces chance to be inflicted with poison
[Plague resist] = Reduces chance to be inflicted with plague
[Para resist] = Reduces chance to be inflicted with paralysis
[Sleep resist] = Reduces chance to be inflicted with sleep
[M.block resist] = Reduces chance to be inflicted with magic block
[S.block resist] = Reduces chance to be inflicted with skill block
[confuse resist] = Reduces chance to be inflicted with confusion
[S.death resist] = Reduces chance to be inflicted with sudden death
[Crit resist] = Reduces chance to be cancelled during an action


[Magic+] = Increases the potency of magic spells
[Skill+] = Increases the potency of moves/skills
[#% spell haste] = Increases spell casting speed by #%
[Psyche] = Reduces the SP cost of skills
[Regen] = Restores health in combat over time, based on maximum health
[Weapon EXP+] = Doubles weapon experience recieved
[Magic EXP+] = Doubles magic experience recieved
[Gold+] = Doubles gold gained on killing blow

Friday, 8 November 2013

Still Alive + Features Overload!

For those who are still following (and wondering why on earth I haven't updated!) it looks like I decided to go further with the project than originally planned. And thus, more cool features (and lots of testing required to keep them balanced) have been made. Also, time restraints have meant I haven't been able to finish earlier as well (this was also unexpected, but I'm not going to dwell on it). However, progression is looking good, and I'll release an early patch for testing soon!

I might as well mention some of the on-the-go additonal features:

Difficulty modes. I've been working on multiple iterations and by release there will be three modes (each a separate patch). Casual, normal and veteran modes. Save files at any time will work on them and you can switch freely. The reason why it is important for me to work on them before release is because of item/spell balance. Perhaps individual tweaks aside, I need to accommodate for all three on the standard mode.

Rare loot for almost every enemy in the game. This also ties into the difficulty modes (more on that later) but the amount of sheer items I've added into the game because of this is well... quite substantial. More item types as well (see my equipment post from earlier) were also added too.

Changes to mechanics. For example, there's now a physical element type where some enemies are resistant against weapons. This took a lot of testing, as it needed to be balanced against physical defense. There are tons of benefits to this addition, especially late-game (where defenses needed to be over-tuned, making combo attacks very weak).

And more (my hopeless decision making -- or testing feedback on moves/spells etc...). I apologize for the silence, as I know some people have been waiting for a while.

So don't worry, I haven't stopped the project or anything! I've only remained quiet because the extent I wanted to take the project was still in flux. However I've now locked down pretty much everything so it shouldn't be too long.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Update + Videos

Haven't posted in a while so I'd thought I'd give a brief update.

It seems like Complete will take a bit longer than I'd like. But I should have a release due early next month.

So here's a video showing the Rock Bird!

Boss fights should be fairly different in Complete. In the original ReDux, boss fights are/were generally very bursty and could take you down fast unless you made use of stunlock or enough outright damage to take them down quickly.

In Complete, bosses are much more of an endurance test. They may not be able to burst you down as fast, but neither can you to them. This means that longevity of your resources matters a great deal more. Moves have more strategic use due to the new SP system, rather than being fire and forget. Hopefully this improves the flow of boss battles overall -- making them a longer-term struggle rather than shorter make-or-break situations.

Video #2: Rangle Mountains

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Abilities page is now complete!

A list of statistics for all the moves/spells in the game is now shown on the 'abilities' page.

More to come, notably items and a similar re-structuring of the enemy page.