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Gear, item progression, and mithril

A design discussion regarding the equipments of SF2

Discussion about this classic Genesis/Mega Drive game.

Gear, item progression, and mithril

Postby MagnusBreak » Sun Mar 24 2019 10:45pm

Hello all, before we dive into this mess of a topic, I would like to get a few things out of the way.

WARNING: SPOILER!


Ok, to begin with, what exactly is the problem that I'm proposing to fix?

WARNING: SPOILER!


Basically, the issue that I have with the base game and most hacks out there is that gear items for their majority (and to some degree mithril items) are boring and do not matter strategy wise, as the only benefit they grant is the extra stat (most of the times ATK+).
What differentiate you game from mine is force composition and promotion choices, other than that, as long as you have the most up to date item, you are fine.

How do I propose to change that? Simple, well, not so simple but still.
To begin, you get access to most gear earlier than you would have in the normal game, which allows you to have access to all purchasable gear available to you 3/5 of the game.
In second place comes gear change, which is the most important thing here.
Besides the items that the 5 characters start with (the main force + Kazin) all items are different (the starter items are "training gear" that only gives base stats).

How different you might ask?
Each item is composed of several attributes, weapons for one, are composed of 3 attributes in total. (Not all weapons will have all 3 of them but all will have at least 2)

Theses attributes are :
(1) - Main Stat Increase: This refers to the main stat the item would normally give, for example, for swords it would be ATK+, for staves (considering ATK does not affect spell damage) it would be DEF+ or MP+.
(2) - Extra Stat Increase: This will increase any value that is an actual stat in the game, like ATK+, MOV+ , DEF+, CRITdmg+, etc.
(3) - Bonus Effect : Certain items would have bonus effects like Increased Chance to Double Strike, Increased Dodge, etc, and sometimes the ability to cast spells (although for the most part these spells are either self cast lvl 1-2 of a given spell like BOOST or ATTACK, or close range single target buffs or heals, or damaging spell like blaze or freeze).

Before I further dive into what I said, it is worth mentioning the types of items you can find in the game.

Weapons - Include all melee and ranged weaponry , which also include "shields", wands, staves, and other mage-like weapons
Accessories - Rings, Bracelets, Earrings, etc. These may have up to 2 attributes, a Main Stat Increase and a Bonus Effect
Armor - Basic defensive items like leather vests, chain mail, mage cloaks , etc. Same as Accessories, 2 attributes can be present.

Now, here is the interesting part. Most gear, and I will use swords as an example, will give you a Main Stat Increase within a specific range of numbers. This means that EVERY SWORD in the game that is not mithril or boss drop will have a fixed amount of ATK+ between X and Y (lets say for the sake of the example, 8 and 12 ATK+)

But wait, how am I going to compete with my enemies ever-growing-triple-digit-stats if the best sword in all shops can only give you +12 attack??? GAME BALANCE !!!

Certain Stats like ATK and DEF will definitely need to be upped in the level up department in order to remain relevant in the game, that's for sure. So instead of dragging down all enemies to your level, you hit the gym, buff up and beat them with you low-stat weapon.

Ok, so far you are either thinking that this is boring (since I didn't give a concrete example yet) or you are asleep. Sorry for that.

NOW FOR THE GOOD PART!!!!11!!!

Lightning Blade - Sword - X gold - available in Bedoe Village (1) +8 ATK - (2) +X CritChance - (3) Double Attack Chance Increase.
WARNING: SPOILER!


Impactful Necklace - Accessory - X gold - available in New Granseal shop after leaving old Grans (1) +6 ATK - (2) Chance to Stun on hit.

WARNING: SPOILER!


As you can see, each item is useful in their on (and as a note, each character would have a base amount of "stats" like crit chance, double attack chance, etc, while some would have bonuses like flying chars and dodge bonuses, but if an Item would increase your chance to perform something you are already good at (like double strike on promoted Slade) I guess, modding wise, it wouldn't affect them based on how I think modding works, since certain stats go like 1/4 chance , 1/8 chance , etc.), but combined they can create some interesting interactions.

This way you can build each character the way you want. You can make Slade into a debuffing machine. Give him a dagger with poison chance on hit, a necklace with stun or sleep and you are golden. Or you can go the other way, getting gear that amplifies his MOV and CRIT so he can hit as hard as possible and reach those pesky little enemies that hide in the back. Or just give him (or maybe a truck hitting character like JAHA) a weapon that gives Max base stat , Max bonus stat , cast ATTACK on him and see the destruction behind him as he moves trough the fields.

I could go on regarding examples, mentioning character specific items and interactions but the main Idea is the following:
Giving each character plenty of choices regarding gear, each having their utilities , like healing, giving mana, applying debuffs, increasing unique stats (like crit, dodge, MOV, etc), so that you can customize your force your on unique way, having access to several strategic options.

Mithril
Just as a side note, I was wondering, if we apply such system to the game (which make all gear stat-balanced) and we give the player access to most of it earlier than normal, having a mithril vendor that appears 4 times in the game, allowing 4 items to be crafted at a time, instead of waiting till end game, where you will have less time to enjoy the opness and uniqueness of said items, would it allow for more unique situations, combos, strategies, etc , to take place in a playthrough , so instead of having OP mithril items, you have more unique ones that grant you benefits other than stats that are unique to them, like unique properties, unique spells, etc?
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Re: Gear, item progression, and mithril

Postby DiegoMM » Sun Apr 14 2019 10:47pm

Very interesting. By now, I think some of it cant be implemented yet.

I agree that having earlier mithril blacksmith could be very interesting. Its a very fun part and just happens on end game. At least SF3 give you mithril and orichalcum weapons.
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Re: Gear, item progression, and mithril

Postby MagnusBreak » Sat Apr 20 2019 4:30am

I am wondering what can't be done right now, I mean, characters in Shining Tactics have passive abilities that allow them to stun, sleep, slow, poison, etc the enemies, so giving that property to a weapon seems doable.
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