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!