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Old Feb 09 2012, 09:40 AM   #1
spemat
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Default Kicking the Challenge Up a Notch

I've had a lot of thought about the issue of difficulty in FFXIII-2, as I am also one of those guys who would have liked to see a lot more challenge from the game.

The game really has everything going for it, such as a captivating story, potentially expansive DLC and freedom to explore in such a way that could not possibly be done in the original. As others have stated earlier in the forum, the freedom of exploration had led to easy character development and some rather trouble-free areas (I found Bresha Ruins 100AF pointless when I had unlocked it). On that note, it almost seemed as if the Commando and Ravager roles were enough to get the job done.

The good news is that despite these core issues in the game engine, I believe that there is a way that Square Enix could cater for those seeking a real challenge in the form of a 'New Game +' or endgame kind of way. This could be done in one of two possible ways:

  • Unlock a 'Hard' Mode when the main storyline is completed, thereby readjusting the difficulty of monsters to at least a level that is required to kill the endgame boss.
  • Unlock a 'New Game +' option from the Main Screen that would restart the characters with their end-game characteristics but without the Inventory, Weapons etc (not sure about Fragment Skills, as the Paradox Scope strengthens the replay value), and increase the stats and skills of monsters.

When I speak of readjusting the monster stats, I mean the Strength, Magic, HP, perhaps increase ATB Gauge a little, perhaps an extra skill and supportive AI fixes, perhaps more diversity in Combat scenarios and a reason or two to use the Sentinel Role (Which was hugely underused in my experience).

I've spent many years in AI Research, and from my experience I would believe that the AI component would be the most time-consuming to modify and balance, but the amount of development time that would be expected to develop the rest wouldn't be so bad for the sake of replayability and combat strategy.

I might be the only one who believes this, and perhaps my ideas do not correlate with the public, but I'd gladly hand over more money for DLC that provided a serious level of strategy that complimented their underutilised combat engine.

Thoughts? Criticisms? I gladly welcome your feedback on this issue.
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Old Feb 09 2012, 09:50 AM   #2
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The good news is that despite these core issues in the game engine
Those are design issues, not engine issues. It's not the technology, it's Square Enix's ineptitude.
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Old Feb 09 2012, 09:55 AM   #3
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Old Feb 09 2012, 09:57 AM   #4
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Well, my automatic beginning thought is that while the main story can be pretty easy, you do still have to grind and some enemies just don't yield. For example, when using the Paradox Scope to refight Caius with just Serah and a monster buddy. I have yet to find someone who has beaten him on Normal Mode, and even on Easy Mode with a completely maxed out Serah with great weapons and accessories this boss is difficult.

Then there's the Yomi, an Undying Cie'th that is capable of becoming invulnerable to damage while simultaneously resetting its Chain Gauge to 100%, removing all debuffs, and then continually healing for a PERCENTAGE of its health for as long the shield remains up. It also has an ability which will kill most non-maxed parties unless they go into Tortoise (Sen-Sen-Sen), and towards the end of the fight it has Bravery, Faith, Protect, and Shell all of which it seems can't be removed for longer than a few seconds. It is immune to Dispel as well, so if you have a Sabetour they have to cast Deprotect/Deshell instead and as mentioned within a few moments the Yomi just gets them back anyway.

The Long Gui is much easier to fight than before, but it can still be a threat to non-maxed parties. There's a whole slew of Cie'th and rare monsters like the Don Tonberry which can completely rape a party's brains out if you aren't careful.


Also, I severely doubt Square Enix would ever release a New Game+ patch for this game, as they went with their current system specifically to avoid New Game+ of any kind.

The only AI tweaking I would want would be the ability to individually set a character's role to Normal, Cross, and Wide and even that is only for my slightly nitpicky need for Ravagers to use AoE abilities while my Commando uses single-target stuff. It's more of a "would be cool" than an actual want.


I think it might be cool if a hard mode was added, but given I've only had the game for a little over a week and I've already maxed out the main characters it might be a little difficult to give people a way to rise above said challenge without adding further Role Expansions through DLC. There's not much point of a hard mode if you end up getting nothing new out of it, after all.
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Old Feb 09 2012, 12:03 PM   #5
spemat
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Originally Posted by Leaferian View Post
Well, my automatic beginning thought is that while the main story can be pretty easy, you do still have to grind and some enemies just don't yield. For example, when using the Paradox Scope to refight Caius with just Serah and a monster buddy. I have yet to find someone who has beaten him on Normal Mode, and even on Easy Mode with a completely maxed out Serah with great weapons and accessories this boss is difficult.

Then there's the Yomi, an Undying Cie'th that is capable of becoming invulnerable to damage while simultaneously resetting its Chain Gauge to 100%, removing all debuffs, and then continually healing for a PERCENTAGE of its health for as long the shield remains up. It also has an ability which will kill most non-maxed parties unless they go into Tortoise (Sen-Sen-Sen), and towards the end of the fight it has Bravery, Faith, Protect, and Shell all of which it seems can't be removed for longer than a few seconds. It is immune to Dispel as well, so if you have a Sabetour they have to cast Deprotect/Deshell instead and as mentioned within a few moments the Yomi just gets them back anyway.

The Long Gui is much easier to fight than before, but it can still be a threat to non-maxed parties. There's a whole slew of Cie'th and rare monsters like the Don Tonberry which can completely rape a party's brains out if you aren't careful.


Also, I severely doubt Square Enix would ever release a New Game+ patch for this game, as they went with their current system specifically to avoid New Game+ of any kind.

The only AI tweaking I would want would be the ability to individually set a character's role to Normal, Cross, and Wide and even that is only for my slightly nitpicky need for Ravagers to use AoE abilities while my Commando uses single-target stuff. It's more of a "would be cool" than an actual want.


I think it might be cool if a hard mode was added, but given I've only had the game for a little over a week and I've already maxed out the main characters it might be a little difficult to give people a way to rise above said challenge without adding further Role Expansions through DLC. There's not much point of a hard mode if you end up getting nothing new out of it, after all.
There's no denying that there is hard stuff out there, it's just that there are so many 5 second battles in-between that kind of separate the hard battles from the easy ones.

I guess that it's common sense to just walk around these simple scenarios, but it could have added to the diversity of combat tactics to fight these critters in a more intelligent way.

Anyway, it seems that there is general acceptance in the difficulty of the game, so perhaps I'm just ranting or expecting more than I should from a game. Thanks.
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