Thursday, 26 February 2015

Let's Rework... Final Fantasy VIII - Part Nine

 Before I get started on the post proper, I thought I'd quickly let you know that I have an editorial about folk heroes up on Fission Mailure.

 Let's Fix the Menu System

 Since I've had to wrestle with the menus so much in preperation for the fight with Ultimecia, I've ended up with a few ideas on how to streamline the process of junctioning.

 Yes, if you take my advice and start your proper junctioning regimen from the beginning of the game you probably won't have this problem, but there are still times when you get new characters in your party and you need to assign them junctions. Like when Rinoa joins you, or you end up having to tow Irvine around.

 On top of that, there will also be times when you'll need to do overhauls of magic and junctions because you've gained access to better spells.

 When you get the mid level magic refine ability, for example, or access to Wizard stones.

 Not to mention that you may just want to change how you have your characters set up because you don't like how you did it before.

 Suggestion number one:

 The Magic Pool

 I mentioned this in the first Let's Rework post, there needs to be a repository for spare magic, because you're not always going to have space for all of th spells you want on your varying party members.

 In addition to this, it could functionally work as an MP restoring item if the player is allowed to draw directly into it.

 I maintain that this would make the junctioning and magic system more enjoyable to use because you could swap out a full century of spells for another without playing musical SeeDs.

 However, there is a potential alernative that could work fine by itself.

 The Ability to Discard Magic

 I searched for a way to do this, but I couldn't find one.

  Sure, you can refine it away, but what about if you have a number of a spell not divisible by the number you need to refine it up to the next level? You have to refine items into that round nummber and then refine up, and that's a waste of items and if you're maxed out, then it's pointless.

 Just have a discard option, or if you want it to be difficult to do, have it be a GF ability. Maybe have a side quest to get the GF in question, or an item so it can be learned like the Devour ability.

 Heck, have a shop run by a little old lady that's the only way to discard magic. Call it 'Gytha's Magic Emporium' or something. I don't care how it's framed, I just want the ability to discard magic.

And just in case I missed how to do this, I'd like it to be made clear to the player because I've been playing this for ninety goddamn hours and I didn't notive a way to do it.

 The Ability to Refine from the Junction and Magic Menus

  I keep referring to sorting all my characters out as 'wrestling with menus' because you basically have to go back and forth constantly between the Magic menu and the Ability menu to refine magic from items or refine magic from other magic.

 Adding a basic option at the top of the magic menu of 'refine' which lets you pick a spell and refine it into other spells or other spells into it would be fantastic.

 It would save a lot of time.

 It would save even more time if you could also do this in the Junction menu, since you do need to have a good amount of any spell junctioned to one of your stats pretty much all the time.

 I've seen other people complain about the micromanagement in this game, and there is a fair amount, but what makes it a more frustrating than what you do in Final Fantasy: Tactics Advance 2 is that there's about five different menu options that you need to dive into to customise characters. In FF: TA2 you could do it from the varying menu options, but you can do most of what you need to in one fell swoop at a shop and the other menu that you need covers multiple things too.

 Micromanagement isn't necessarily bad, as long as it's streamlined and allow big changes to be made quickly in an intuitive fashion.

 Speaking of, one of the other changes to make the micromanagement more intuitive would be...

 The Ability to Assign GFs from the GF Menu (and Use Abilities)

 Or, to have a look at GF skills and stats from the Junction menu.

 I have had to write down the things that I needed to make sure all my characters were well rounded out with abilities because I needed to look at their abilities in the Junction menu, go through the abilities that the GFs had in the GF menu and then go to the Item menu to teach any abilities that were needed and then go back to the Junction menu to junction the GF to the character. Oh, and if I didn't have the item, I needed to go the Ability option to call shop, get whatever it is I need and then use another ability to refine it into something else if that's what has to be done. I was forgetting what I needed to do because the method is so convoluted.

 So allowing the player to assign GFs from the GF menu would cut out several steps, folding the Ability menu into the GF menu would also make this a lot easier and a heck of a lot faster.

 Heck, it would also be great if they gave us...

 The Ability to teach Abilities from the GF Menu

 Same principle, really.

 Hmm, that's all I can think of on that front for the moment.

 The next FF8 post will be about fighting the Omega Weapon, and it will have a special twist!

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