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.

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

Alheal
POWER: 70
MANA: 15
CAST TIME: 1 seconds
Justin, Liete

-----

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

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

-----

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

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

-----

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

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


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. 

51 comments:

  1. having a fast heal for panic situations is great.
    i agree on invoke , was hardly using offensive techs if i could cast 3-6 spells instead of 1-2 techs i go with the magic full on.
    rapp being able to restore himself fits to his forest-ninja theme and i like it.
    guess justin will give his heal-tank role to liete once she arrives (all heal spells on her *.*)

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  2. Nice update, good to see you are willing to remove new ideas if they falter in practice. All too often modders/designers go running around in circles trying to fix and balance them when they simply do not work. Keep up the good work!

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  3. I must say, seeing invoke go makes me very happy. It was a mechanic that didn't feel right as far as Grandia goes.

    Love the idea that healing is now actually a challenge instead of mindless 'Alhealer' spam when times turn grim.

    Now I wonder about how gradual the HP drop can be, as in, will there be plenty of room to focus on healing? I'd imagine some bosses *cough*Leviathan*cough* can chain you down and force the heal+ spells to be used, but in most cases Alhealer tossed early enough would suffice. You'd be fine as long as you keep notice of what the enemies are doing and how much damage they can lay down.


    A very big 'Thank you' from a massive Grandia 1 fan. I've played this game since I was 4, with the assist of my mother of course. This game means a lot to me and to this day I still play it actively. Now seeing a mod as grand as this has me psyched more than I ever remember being. Well, aside from my original discovery of Tower of Temptation, but this is like the whole game was turned into one big ToT, no?


    Keep it steady and know you have the warm support of all us Grandia fans!

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  4. Just found out about this project and I must say I am really impressed. I play Grandia at least once every year so I am excited for a new experience with this patch :) I just have 2 questions.

    1. Which platform is this patch for?
    2. Would it be possible to make and undub version of this?

    Not sure if links are permitted here but something for fans of Grandia II
    http://isans.blogspot.cz/ this guy is making a retranslation/undub of Grandia II

    GRANDIA FANS UNITE!!!

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    Replies
    1. Answering questions to Roman Kotlár.
      1. The patch is for playstation only.
      2. Its been done for Grandia 2. English text with Japanese dub. So its possible to do the same for this one.

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  5. Any updates? Any progress ? Hope all is going well. :)

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  6. Thanks so much for this! Loving the ability to replay my favorite game of all time, just harder and more interesting abilities. I'm going to donate :) Just one question, I had patched my game ISO right by the End of the World wall.

    I was able to kill things with ease and had grinded a lot before the patch, nothing could hit me. Now, I get killed very easily and the monsters are really really difficult to defeat. Is this because I patched the game late in(not from before I started new) or just the difficulty of the patch?

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    Replies
    1. Check put the FAQ's page.
      It tells you that you should start from beginning because of the changes made. Otherwise you are stuck. :\

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  7. Is this still "alive and going"? Not stressing a release, just wondering if how it is going. Progress, changes and whatnot.

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  8. I too would like to know how things are coming along. I mean, I know it's hard to make a mod and I don't wanna cause any stress to the developer, but I would be much obliged if I could get any kind of info on how things are going.

    Then again... I would like you to know that I am realy eager to play this.
    Thank you and have nice day.

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  9. Hey Guys. As with his previous post's and update's the creator stresses that finishing this project is an absolute priority. creativity comes in waves. Arm yourselves with patience and send your support as usual.

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  10. Might want to aim to get a forum section on InsaneDifficulty (dot) com. It's an active but small gaming community with a bunch of good mods and people on it. I see you had a thread there about this mod a couple of years back, which you abandoned for whatever reason. However, I think it might be a place for you (Dunal) to get the motivation and support you need as well as proper feedback on your work. :)

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  11. Im checking this page barely once a week now.
    Use to be every day.
    But my hopes are fading.
    Just let us know your at least on this still.

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  12. Still checking every few days! Tempted to get Grandia 2 on steam until we hear more

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  13. as posted in one of his youtube comments , a lot the work put into redux had to be redone, and loosing over a years work of progress can hit motiviation really hard, he is back on track and will probably finish this year if everything goes smoothly.
    I would check once or twice a month. the project isnt dead

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  14. Well, I've pretty much given up all hope that this is going to be finished. I can't say I'm upset or surprised though. According to Tio you got set back quite a lot? I can understand losing interest after something like that. Anyway, I appreciate all your work on the original mod, and I played through it several times. Great work and I wish you well.

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    Replies
    1. Feel the same way, but Dunal has other projects at the moment (Fire Emblem i think) which means it can take a while before Grandia Redux is resumed.

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  15. Heres a vid of Sue soloing ghosts :) . I love how it all goes so well. Just something for you guys to watch.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6InfQn60Spc

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  16. Playing Grandia 2 on Steam atm, good times but I so hope this gets completed sometime this year ^^

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  17. Yea a small update would be nice.

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  18. Yea a small update would be nice.

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  19. It's been over a year since the last post. Any new info at all?

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    Replies
    1. Nope, its been given up on. No official source, but 1 year without an update on the situation, most likely means its long forgotten.

      Delete
  20. I come here once in a while to see if there's anything new. I know it's mostly likely dead and buried. But one can always dream.... Right?

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    Replies
    1. Dluna has abandoned this for Fire Emblem modding (even though he/she still says that its not abandoned...)

      Delete
    2. Yeah this is definitely abandoned at this point. Any posts from Dluna saying otherwise mean nothing to me at this point...

      Delete
    3. Yeah this is definitely abandoned at this point. Any posts from Dluna saying otherwise mean nothing to me at this point...

      Delete
  21. Same here, dream about any update at all :-)

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  22. Dunal, give us an update. Anything. It would mean the world to us, you know it. It doesn't have to be actual content. Just tell us what it is that you're going to do with this project, if anything.

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes please, I do second that with all my strenght. Cmon guys, If any of you still come around here to check if there's anything new, please leave your comment. He will see them and may feel the need to update us, even if its atleast to say it's been long dead.

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  23. I just played the redux 3.0 and its so awesome.
    And still looking forward in the complete version!
    Still hoping here.. idc of waiting im gonna keep waiting
    Go Dluna

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  24. Please respond to us Dluna. Tell us you aren't dead.

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  25. Not giving up here!
    Even if it takes yyyyears..
    Ill still get back here :D

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  26. He's not dead, just plays too much League of Legends judging by his Gamefaqs activities.

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  27. This is a fantastic project. However, no one benefits from it if the developer decides to just leave it at 95% and never finish. Dunal, for whatever reason you have not had the time to make this complete. Please give out your work in progress for someone else to take over, so that they might contribute it to the rest of the world one day. Your work will never be forgotten, and is even now much appreciated by the community. Please don't let this project die off completely, pass it on instead.

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    Replies
    1. Agree, one of the best mods out there, shame to let it die off! If i had any knowledge in the area i would take it on for sure!

      Delete
    2. sad i would love to play the mod :(
      if i just have phoenix down i will throw it on dunnal!

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  28. Psst Grandia turns 20 years old this year. perfect time window to release the mod ;)

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  29. dude when is this going to be finished? I have been anxiously awaiting for some time... I appreciate the work you do Dunal and the game is amazing... juat wondering its been like 2 yrs

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  30. I can't seem to download the patches that're already out...? The links to the right appear to be down. Any possibility of a fix, if it's no trouble? :)

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    1. Hey, i'll upload it for you since it seems this is all lost.
      https://www.dropbox.com/s/3gccrrg8m77vint/Grandia%20ReDux%20-%20Disc%201%20-%203.1.ppf?dl=0
      https://www.dropbox.com/s/n7aw0f4rnhg5l2e/Grandia%20ReDux%20-%20Disc%202%20-%203.0.ppf?dl=0

      those are the newest versions and probably the last versions we will see.

      Delete
  31. Are there any news about this project ?

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  32. I won't lose hope. Someday Dunal will take this project in hand again! But everything has its moment :)

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