So, I've been designing the battle formations (which are roughly more than 600 in this game). I've mostly finished Day 7, which is the day where you get into Hades Isle and do the main N1 event (What I call DesertMan's scenario). The formations still need testing though.
So far, I've tested up to BeastMan's scenario (and a bit of what's next after it), and I'm noticing that S-Ranking battles is an issue. General modding discussion time.
While I've improved the drops from the enemies, so that most codes will have a fair use, the best codes are still dropped by making the high ranks in battles. This means that being good at the battles gives you the best tools for being better at the game, which is basically a flawed concept. A game (any game) should give you the tools to improve your performance, even if you're not the best player from day 1. This is attempted to be fixed within the engine in two certain ways: Treasures, and Shops.
Treasures are fixed rewards (aka tools) that you get by exploring (we assume that the player wants to explore, otherwise he deserves its own in-game hell), while shops are a very good workaround.
Shops are a good workaround (more emphasized in the mod), because zenny drops are more common if you get low rankings in the battles. Since the zenny they give is *a lot* higher than in vanilla, and the shops' prices were severely lowered, that means that having more battles with low ranking means having lots of Zenny to buy more chips (tools) to improve your game.
But I still feel that's not enough. I feel there's still a gap between the possibility of getting better at the game, and the feeling of being progressively trapped into a part of the game where the difficulty will scale beyond the player's capabilities. Now, for the mod to be successfull, I need to fix this before the player gets to the mid / mid-end game. There's two ways that I'm gonna be using in the mid-game to attempt to definitely fix this.
- The N1 Event. During both the N1 second-preliminaries and the N1 main event (DesertMan's Scenario), you're locked into using a total of 3 Extra Folders, designed by me. This means that during that fair segment of the game, I'm in control of what tools the player will be provided with. The Extra folders then become essential, to teach the player how to build a proper folder, to teach him what some obscure chips do and how they canbe combined, to teach him about program advances, and also to teach him that extra folders here are valuable. While I'm gonna nerf Extra Folder a bit to balance it for BeastMan's scenario, I'm still gonna let it be useful for that same reason, to tease the player into considering using it, to open his mind to other possibilities (also, to teach the player that less codes = good).
- The first point mentioned is just a brain teaser for the player. It does give you more tools via the Extra Folders, but that's fairly limited because you can't customize them in any way, so they're extremely inflexible versus different areas or sets of enemies. Here's where Folder2 comes into play. Folder2 is a 30 chip folder handed to you after the N1, which in other words is 30 free chips that go into your stack. If the player is in a situation where he's with little options to S-Rank formations in general, those 30 chips need to be able to salvage his situation. That needs to be the definitive fix for any playthrough, especially for blind players who are lost with too many codes and too little possibilities to get the best ranks.
So that's what this thread is about. At first, I thought Folder2 was a liability as a modder, but after testing a segment of the game as a difficulty mod (and noticing what would happen if things continued this way) I now realize it's a necessary thing to occur in my mod to be playable and beatable with its proper difficulty curve.
I'll be posting here my thoughts about Folder2. You're welcome to give me your suggestions about it, or to correct me if you disagree with what I've brainstormed above. Thanks for reading.