RMMV Eternal Dreamers | Battle-Focused RPG | Update February 25th

Soryuju

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This project looks solid! Question for you, @Biestmann: is the current demo still mostly up to date when it comes to your characters’ skill design? I played through the campaign on normal and have some thoughts on your character balance I’d like to share, but it will take me some time to write it all up. I’d rather not put all the work into writing out my analysis if it’s no longer even relevant to your current build!

Most notably, there are some pretty game-breaking infinite skill loops you should probably remove (if you haven’t already), and I think your Stun and Freeze status ailments should be recalibrated a bit. I was able to cheese most of your game pretty badly with tactics involving these things - taking dozens of actions each round thanks to infinite loops, keeping entire groups of enemies locked in permanent stun status, canceling all attrition damage between waves, abusing an unlimited Party Gauge in a variety of ways, etc. I discovered most of these tactics before finishing the first two zones, and they remained effective throughout the rest of the game. By the end, I was able to clear every wave of enemies in a single turn with high burst damage, and then keep the bosses permanently stunned while demolishing their HP in 4-5k damage chunks each turn. Based on what I’ve read in this topic, I don’t think this represents your intended gameplay.

If the version I played is still mostly up to date, I’d be happy to point out exactly where the balance issues arose, and if you’d like, I could help you make some adjustments which should fix most of them. I’d also be happy to point out less game-breaking balance concerns and make suggestions for improvement in those areas, too. Of course, your experience with your own game is far greater than the ~3 days I spent playing it, so if you’d prefer to rely on your own ideas for character balance, then I respect that.

This is an excellent effort overall, though, and I wish you luck with finishing the game!
 

Biestmann

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@Soryuju
First of all, thank you so much for playing the demo of the game! I am glad to you enjoyed it overall despite perceived issues with the combat balance.

I update the game quite frequently, so the demo largely represents present skill design. Notable changes I will introduce with the coming patch are the removal of the Elementalist class for one - which of course is quite major - and the increase of AP recovery via the Focus option by 1AP. The patch also changes how the Freeze and Stun status work, the former in particularly not lasting a turn longer than intended upon removal anymore.

I always am interested in feedback, especially from someone that ventured so far into what the game has to offer, so I would greatly appreciate a more detailed write-up of your thoughts!
 

Soryuju

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Okay, then here goes. We've got a lot to cover, and I kind of...really got carried away with the analysis, so I apologize in advance. This is a book. Get comfy.

Since I've already mentioned the two most significant global issues (Stun/Freeze and infinite loops), let's start off with a class tier list and demonstrate how these issues influence the performance of each character. The rankings below should be taken with a grain of salt, not only because it's based on my sole opinion, but because the aforementioned global issues inflate the power of certain characters who don't have much else going for them.

Let's get started:

Top Tier:
#1: Leader (Forest)
#2: Manipulator (Sakia)


Upper Tier:
#3: Hero (Marlon)
#4: Ranger (Natsume)
#5: Elementalist (Ende)


Mid Tier:
#6: Assassin (Reiketsu)
#7: Illuminon (Faeris)


Low Tier:
#8: Practitioner (Monolith)


Bottom Tier:
#9: Blood Driver (Anna)

Below is an analysis of each character in their current state and an explanation for their ranking in the tier list.

Leader (Forest):

Forest is the character who best enables most of the abusive strategies in Eternal Dreamers, since he works as a powerful battery for every type of resource in the game. Virtually any party without Forest will be significantly weaker than parties which include him.

Tactical Retreat is the most abusable component of Forest's kit. There are two key issues with Tactical Retreat: the first is that it can be used even on allies who have no Charge, and since it's Instant, there's no limit to how many times per turn it can be used. The second issue is that it generates .5 Party Gauge segments. This combination of traits allows Forest to spam Tactical Retreat up to 20 times each turn until he fills the entire Party Gauge every round. He can then use Rallying once or twice to reset the Charge of the ally he spammed Tactical Retreat on. This combination makes Glory Strike completely obsolete.

At the end of each turn, Forest can also use Tactical Retreat on himself followed by a Strike, resetting his Charge and regaining all the AP which he spent on Rallying. This is strictly superior to just using Focus, and lets him repeat his Tactical Retreat spam every single turn with no consequences for the party. The combination gets even stronger if you give Forest a Dark Spirit to raise his AP to 12, which causes Tactical Retreat to restore 6 AP, enough to fully pay for Rallying + Defensive Maneuver or Rallying x3. What's more, Tactical Retreat does not work as its description states, and restores AP based on Forest's max AP, rather than the target's, so a Dark Spirit boosts his support potential as well.

Abusing Tactical Retreat/Rallying with Sakia's Bind Hold and Polarizer skills gives Sakia enough AP, Charge, and Party Gauge to cast Polarizer up to 2 times every single turn, in addition to casting Bind Hold multiple times. This means that Forest can allow Sakia to keep every single enemy on the field permanently stunned.

Even if Forest didn't have Tactical Retreat, however, Glory Strike would enable easy permanent stun combos together with Sakia. Bind Hold + Polarizer allows Sakia to lock down enemies even if they're faster than she is, and Glory Strike helps to ensure that her Polarizer is available every turn. The combo typically only breaks down if the target is faster than Sakia and Forest misses with Glory Strike multiple times in a row. This usually doesn't happen, and even if it does, it typically just means the enemy gets a single turn to attack before the stun lock resumes.

Forest + Sakia is the strongest character pairing in the game by a wide margin, but Forest also amplifies most of the other characters' powers far beyond their usual scope. Natsume can lock down enemies almost as well as Sakia when paired with Forest. Ende can cast Blitzblade twice every single turn, wiping out most enemy waves on his own before they can act. Faeris can cast Heal 3 times every turn while staying at full AP, rather than just once. The only character whose performance doesn't see a huge boost when they're together with Forest is Anna, and even she still works decently with him.

All of this comes on top of the very solid offensive and defensive support Forest brings to the party with Rallying and Defensive Maneuver.

To sum up, with Forest in the party, every character becomes as good as their best abilities, even if they normally can't use those abilities very often. He makes resource-intensive parties just as consistent as more balanced ones, and turns many balanced skills into abusive ones. His only weakness is that he needs to stay at maximum Charge in order to use his infinite loops most effectively. Overall, he is undoubtedly the best character in the game.

Manipulator (Sakia):

Forest's favorite partner in crime, Sakia trivializes most battles by permanently stunning multiple enemies at once with her Bind Hold and Polarizer skills. Sakia can permanently disable any enemy which she's faster than with just Bind Hold, but Polarizer lets her keep anything in the game stunned regardless of its speed. She can even keep two enemies permanently stunned without outside AP support by using Polarizer every round to keep one previously-affected enemy disabled, and then using Bind Hold afterward on a slower target. She then simply needs to Focus after using Bind Hold to recover all of her AP for the next round. Since no battle in the main story features more than 3 enemies in a wave, this means that Sakia can stop 66-100% of all incoming damage each round on average so long as her allies can keep building the Party Gauge up to 5, which is possible even without Forest. Sakia's fantastic control potential earns her the #2 spot on the list.

With Forest's support, Sakia becomes able to keep every target on the field permanently stunned, and she can even cast two Polarizers in the same turn. This means she can lock down multiple enemies which are faster than her, or increase the duration of her stuns indefinitely on a single target.

Sakia also shines together with Reiketsu when she's able to cast Polarizer every round, since this guarantees that Poison will remain on the enemy and continue to do progressively more damage throughout long boss fights. Near the end of these fights, bosses can easily be taking 3k damage or more from each Poison tick, making Reiketsu progressively better as bosses get tougher.

Finally, Sakia's abilities make her one of the best characters for preventing attrition damage against the party in long, multi-round fights. Occasional hits may slip through when a fast enemy appears in a new wave, but Sakia makes it easy for healers like Faeris or Ende to top the party back up, letting the party enter every new wave at maximum power. This disrupts the game's difficulty curve even further on top of the permanent stun abuse.

Sakia's main weaknesses are that she has a harder time stunning enemies which are faster than her, and that she needs to get to maximum Charge before she can win battles for the team. By her second turn, however, these weaknesses generally stop being relevant.

Hero (Marlon):

Marlon earns his #3 spot mostly through a single abusive trick: Flameball spam. When in Limit Break, Flameball will often restore as much or more AP than it costs to cast, and since it's Instant, Marlon can cast it dozens of times per round unless the player has very bad luck with the RNG. This allows Marlon to rapidly fill the Party Gauge every single round, which in turn lets him maintain Limit Break permanently. Flameball spam also lets him easily maintain permanent Counter status on himself and Ablaze status on all enemies.

This tactic becomes even more consistent when the Flameball is Effective on the enemy or when the enemy has the Fearful status, since both situations bump Flameball's AP generation range up from 1-3 to 2-4 instead. This makes for a perfect infinite Flameball loop, where 20+ consecutive Flameballs will give Marlon infinite AP in addition to guaranteeing a full Party Gauge every round.

Marlon's other abusive tricks come from Counter. One notable and likely unintended interaction is that if you use Forest's Tactical Retreat on Marlon while he's got Counter active, Tactical Retreat restores Marlon's AP like normal, but doesn't reduce Marlon's Charge level. This can make for another source of infinite AP and Party Gauge segments on top of the ones Marlon's already got. The other concern is that Counter doesn't work like its description implies, and will block all physical attacks against Marlon every turn it's active. If a battle features no magic damage, the player can send Marlon in on his own and just use Counter + Focus every turn for a guaranteed victory. Enemies will have no one to attack but Marlon, but he's immune to physical damage and countering every hit.

Outside of these tricks, Marlon is unremarkable. He's very dependent on Limit Break, and consequently prone to slow starts. His sustained damage output is decent, but falls short of dedicated attackers like Reiketsu. Shield Bash is theoretically a good skill, but rarely relevant when the best strategies involve permanently stunning all enemies. He is essentially the poor man's Forest with some extra damage and defense built in.

Ranger (Natsume):

Natsume feels like a somewhat more balanced version of Sakia, but she's still able to create permanent Freeze locks on bosses with her Ice Round skill and keep at least one enemy continuously disabled in most fights (even if you don't abuse Freeze's unintended extra round of duration). Her Ice Round skill is the primary factor which raises her to the #4 spot on the list, and without it, she would likely fall significantly lower.

On paper, Natsume seems to be more geared toward dealing damage than Sakia, with multiple skills dedicated toward increasing her offensive power (including her Party Gauge skill), access to Ablaze, and even an AoE attack. In reality, however, maintaining Freeze on targets is more valuable than Natsume's middle-of-the-road damage output, and the AP cost of regularly using Ice Round means Natsume is rarely in a position to deal significant damage to enemies. Her lack of low-cost damage skills as well as damage-dealing Instant skills reinforces the division in her kit - often after an Ice Round, she has nothing left to follow up with but a Strike. With a Dark Spirit, she can use Bulletrain after Ice Round, but the additional resource strain it puts on isn't sustainable without Forest, and parties with Forest generally have more consistent damage options than Bulletrain.

In practice, the damage and status components of Natsume's kit end up competing with each other rather than complementing each other. Most of her turns just involve using Ice Round and Focus, or Ice Round and Strike if Forest is in the party. Fortunately for her, that's all that's really needed to beat most fights in the game.

Elementalist (Ende):

Ende seems to be built like a well-rounded character at first glance, but thanks to the existence of Forest (and Marlon, to a lesser degree), his ideal role is using an unlimited Party Gauge to cast Blitzblade twice every turn. With a boost from Rallying, Ende can easily deal upwards of 4-5k damage each turn, depending on critical hits and weaknesses. He can instantly clear most waves which feature only two enemies, and it's easy for his party to mop up anything that's left. Blitzblade also often lets him win even the lategame boss fights in just a handful of rounds, even if he's the only one attacking. His upfront burst damage is generally superior to Reiketsu's, especially when Blitzblade strikes a weakness, which can produce individual crits in excess of 3k damage. Reiketsu will generally only overtake Ende in long fights where she's able to maintain Poison, though doing this consistently often requires Sakia's Polarizer on top of the standard Forest abuse, and Ende can often end boss fights sooner than it would take for Poison to become relevant. Ende only stops climbing at #5 on the tier list because every character above him either features an infinite loop or a permanent status lock.

In addition to having the best burst damage and arguably best sustained damage output in the game, Ende brings important utility to the party in the form of Inner Warmth. While Sakia and Natsume can generally prevent all incoming damage with their status ailments, occasionally attacks slip through when fast enemies appear in a new wave. Ende's Inner Warmth allows the player to passively erase this damage over time without requiring them to spend a party slot on Faeris. Being able to act as one of the game's only two healers on top of being arguably its best DPS makes Ende a valuable addition to any team which features Forest and/or Marlon.

Outside of Blitzblade and Inner Warmth, however, Ende's kit isn't very relevant, and without Forest's or Marlon's resource support, Ende's performance just falls off a cliff. Ice Armor is a potentially useful but very expensive ability which is rendered irrelevant by Sakia and Natsume's control locks, and since Ende has no way to consistently draw enemy aggro, there's never any guarantee that he'll get much return on the high AP investment. His Dances are very expensive skills which burn through both his AP and Charge while dealing underwhelming AoE damage (even when striking weaknesses), but they inflict ailments very inconsistently compared to Sakia and Natsume. When Ende isn't paired with Forest, it's generally better to just spend his AP on maintaining Inner Warmth.

Ende's dependence on Forest stems from his combination of resource-hungry abilities and his lack of Instant skills (not including his Stance switch skills). The fact that Ende's skills all consume AP, Charge, and/or the Party Gauge at a high rate means that he's regularly caught between wanting to use his skills and needing to recharge with Strike/Focus. Some characters navigate this issue with Instant skills, since they can use an Instant skill while Focusing in the same turn, but Ende doesn't have this option, and it slows him down to a crawl in most battles. Forest provides him with all three of these resources in excess, dramatically inflating his capabilities and dragging him up from near the bottom of the tier list. Ende still puts in a strong performance with Marlon thanks to Blitzblade, but he misses the AP and Charge support.

Assassin (Reiketsu):

Reiketsu is a squishy but potent damage dealer who excels at dealing with single targets, and her Poison skills hypothetically give her the best sustained damage output in the game. She also enjoys natural synergies with Forest and Sakia, the two best characters in the game. Forest can fuel Reiketsu with all the resources she needs to use her expensive abilities. On the other hand, Sakia keeps Reiketsu safe from all incoming damage and reduces Reiketsu's resource usage by making sure her Poison doesn't fall off of enemies after the first application. Furthermore, Reiketsu can sometimes provide early stuns with Quick Strike to help Sakia set up status locks on enemies. Reiketsu vies closely with Ende for the title of best damage dealer, though Ende's superior upfront burst damage and party utility ultimately give him a slight edge. This puts Reiketsu in the #6 spot on the tier list.

Without Forest and/or Sakia, Reiketsu still enjoys some decent damage output, but her overall usability drops. Shadow Strike is far and away her best damage skill, but it consumes both Charge and large amounts of AP, meaning that she often needs time to recover in between attacks. If the player can conserve most of their Party Gauge for her, Reiketsu can maintain her damage output to some extent through Fatal Stab and her regular (respectably powerful) Strike until she's ready to unleash the next Shadow Strike. Unfortunately, if Reiketsu is consistently trying to split the Party Gauge with other allies, she won't be able to fulfill her role as a damage dealer to the fullest extent. With Ende setting a high standard for damage dealers and also providing party healing, Reiketsu needs to keep her performance high just to stay relevant against him.

The other issue for Reiketsu is that when she's not with Sakia, Poison loses its consistency. Neither Poison Stab nor Poison Slash can guarantee that Poison will connect, and missing can often mean losing Poison stacks prematurely on the target. Having this happen even once after several turns of stacking Poison can ruin Reiketsu's sustained damage output, especially since there's a steep opportunity cost to use Reiketsu's relatively weak Poison attacks each turn instead of committing resources toward her powerful Shadow Strike.

Illuminon (Faeris):

Faeris enjoys a unique niche as the game's only dedicated healer, and they perform the role quite well. Their generally inexpensive abilities give them consistency throughout battles and significant flexibility on each turn, and their ability to generate Charge with their Heal instead of Strike further increases this flexibility. Faeris excels in long fights because of their ability to erase attrition damage that accumulates throughout many rounds, though conversely, they aren't always as necessary to bring along in short battles, especially if the player is using Ende, Sakia, or Natsume. Faeris' redundancy with these higher-tier characters is the main reason why they only rank at #7 on the tier list.

Faeris is one of the few characters who doesn't depend heavily on Forest for resource management, though Forest still amplifies their abilities dramatically. Faeris easily recuperates Charge loss from Forest's Tactical Retreat thanks to Heal, and with Focus, Faeris becomes able to use Heal up to 3 times per turn without suffering from any long-term AP loss, instead of the single Heal they can usually maintain. The damage reduction/passive healing of Holy Veil also pairs nicely with Forest's Defensive Maneuver.

Faeris is also a good ally for helping to fill the Party Gauge. Heal will increase the Gauge every time it's cast, even if the target's HP is full, so Faeris can fill the Gauge on any given turn until their AP runs out. On top of this, their Holy Veil is an inexpensive Gauge ability which doesn't need to be used frequently. Unfortunately, Forest and Marlon's ability to generate unlimited Party Gauge segments each turn devalues Faeris' advantage here.

Unfortunately, Faeris is one of the characters who suffers most from the dominance of Stun and Freeze. Their abilities simply aren't very useful when the party is only taking damage a few times throughout the entirety of each fight. The fact that Ende can easily heal the party through incoming damage while pumping out superb damage each turn tends to make Faeris' defensive abilities feel like overkill in most situations, and Faeris doesn't bring much else unique to the table. Sacred Arrows and Holy Prism are their only relevant abilities when the enemy can't act, and these skills are almost duplicates of each other, so they don't do much to expand Faeris' options.

Practitioner (Monolith):

Monolith finds himself in the #8 spot on the tier list and generally overshadowed by the game's other damage dealers. Monolith's best niche is using his Darkness spell to deal heavy AoE damage, an area where he far outperforms Ende and Reiketsu. Unfortunately, many individual waves in the game only feature two enemies, and almost all of the boss fights in the story take place against a single target. This gives Monolith far fewer opportunities to shine in his role than other attackers.

Unfortunately, Monolith's single-target damage is far below the level of Ende's or Reiketsu's, both when it comes to dealing burst damage and sustained damage. There are three main issues at play here:

1) Most of Monolith's skills sacrifice raw power for efficiency. Monolith's damage skills cost slightly less AP than Reiketsu's and other offensively-oriented characters', but his single-target options also don't compete with the damage output of skills like Shadow Strike. In an environment where Forest can supply as much AP and Party Gauge as the party needs, Monolith falls behind (in spite of his own dependence on Forest, but more on that later). The HP costs attached to his attacks just set him back even further.

2) Monolith lacks an offensive Party Gauge ability. Combined with his lack of other Instant skills and competitive single-target damage spells, this significantly lowers the amount of burst damage he can deal in a short time frame compared to Reiketsu and Ende. Resurrection is theoretically okay utility for a Gauge ability, but it's also kind of useless in a status-dominated meta where no one ever dies. (As a side note, Resurrection's cost seems prohibitively high, since the player won't be able to fill the Party Gauge as quickly when one of their characters is KO'd. I haven't been able to test this thoroughly, though, since none of my characters were ever KO'd.)

3) Finally, both of Monolith's Orange damage spells lower his Charge, and Monolith has one of the weakest Strikes in the game. Unless Monolith is paired with Forest for Rallying, he has to use Strike in between every major spell he casts, and this just tanks his sustained damage output. The difference between using Waste every turn and alternating between Devour and Strike is surprisingly small, and the Waste option even costs less HP. Forest can bring Monolith back up to speed, but Forest also makes Monolith's AP efficiency redundant, and at that point you're left just wondering why you're not using Ende instead.

Outside of damage, Monolith brings debuffs to a party, which does give him some reasonable utility. Discourage helps offset his natural squishiness if you're not stun-locking everything, while Fear brings his damage up to a more competitive level. Unfortunately, the need to maintain Fear on a target takes away the AP-efficiency advantage Monolith normally has. Ende and Reiketsu can also take advantage of Fear when they're in a party with Monolith or Natsume, and this creates even further separation between their damage output and Monolith's.

As for his other debuff, Soul Drain is...not good. By the time my LV13 Monolith went in to fight Entropia, Soul Drain was worth a negligible 23 damage/healing per turn. The fact that such a weak effect only works on bosses is strange (and not readily apparent from the tooltip), but I wouldn't want to waste AP using this ability in most fights, anyways.

Finally, Monolith's self-damage means that in any reasonably long battle, he'll need to be paired with Faeris or Ende to avoid running dry and being KO'd. Since he's also dependent on Forest to deal damage at a competitive rate, the range of team compositions he can show his potential in is more limited than that of most other characters.

Blood Driver (Anna):

Anna is partially a victim of status ailment/Forest dominance, but her barren skill list seals her position as the #9 ranked character and the sole occupant of the Bottom Tier. Anna's design suggests that she wants to be a life-stealing tank who protects her allies, but the tools she has available don't allow her to consistently shine in this role. Even when I opted to not use any Stun or Freeze skills, running parties with Anna typically felt like I was playing the game with only 3 characters.

There are a few reasons why Anna falls short. The first is that when Anna's HP is full, her skills have basically no utility, and Reaper Drive doesn't draw enough aggro to keep Anna consistently damaged. Outside of Reaper Drive, all Anna brings to the table is self-healing and Bleeding, the latter of which is basically useless (I thought it'd at least stop Spirit Hunt bosses from regenerating HP, but nope). When Anna's got most of her HP, her entire skill list effectively becomes little more than a collection of weak damage skills. The fact that she only effectively has 4 skills (Standby Drive doesn't count) doesn't do her any favors here. I'm not sure if Anna's design just isn't finished, but every other character has at least 5 skills with independent effects.

My limited testing indicated that Reaper Drive increases Anna's aggro rate to roughly 40%, compared to the default 25% rate. My initial impression was that this is low for a character trying to work as a tank, but I also haven't played the game on the higher difficulties, and it's possible that raising the aggro rate further makes her prone to being overwhelmed by enemy groups on Hard difficulty and above. The flip side is that where things are now, enemies will often ignore Anna in battle, leaving her healthy and with little to do while her allies get pummeled.

Bloody Harvest and Bloody Ensemble are Anna's "big" skills, and they're each underwhelming in their own way. Bloody Harvest can provide decent healing, but it's slow. Generally you'd want to switch off Reaper Drive when using it so you aren't as likely to be killed before you can start healing, and so that you have more AP to attack with next turn. Unfortunately, this means that Anna's not really doing her main job in the party until she's finished healing up. On the other hand, Bloody Ensemble provides instant healing, but it's disappointingly weak. For a 6-cost Party Gauge skill, you're getting less damage than you do with Anna's Razing Edge and a heal that's no stronger than Faeris' basic one. It's just bad.

The sum of all this is a character who doesn't really excel at anything, offensively or defensively. Even if status ailments are nerfed and the infinite loops are closed, Anna will need help before she'll be a consistently useful character for most parties.

The question of exactly how to improve the current balance is tricky, but I think a combination of meta changes to battles/systems and individual character adjustments is the best way to go here. Even if you disagree with the majority of these suggestions, hopefully they'll at least give you some ideas for later.

I should mention that any specific numbers I give with regard to damage/healing are based mostly on my intuition, since I don't have access to the damage formulas you've used. I'll trust you to correct any of my suggestions which seem off.

Finally, it goes without saying that these changes don't take into account your plans for the upcoming patch, such as the buffs to Focus. However, I'm going to omit balance suggestions for the Elementalist class, since you mentioned that you'll be removing it.

Global Changes:

- Some bosses now summon 1-2 adds at a set interval in battle.
- Bosses have natural immunity to Stun and Freeze.
- Boss immunity to Stun and Freeze may temporarily drop at certain intervals in each fight (see below), and then automatically resume after 1-2 rounds.
- Stun and Freeze can no longer be applied to a target which is already Stunned or Frozen.
- Stun and Freeze now give the target 1 round of immunity to both Stun and Freeze after they expire on the target.
- Stun and Freeze now prevent the affected target from evading incoming attacks.

Reasoning: These changes significantly scale back the power of Stun and Freeze while keeping them relevant as damage mitigation tools. The idea is that bosses will normally be immune to these effects, but there would be brief windows of vulnerability the player can exploit to interrupt attacks and recover (e.g. immediately before or after the boss uses a powerful skill). Regular enemies also can't be Stun/Freeze locked indefinitely anymore, creating more pressure for players to finish waves quickly.

Having adds sporadically appear in boss fights is a major change with a number of perks. On a basic level, it helps to switch up the pacing and tension of boss fights, rather than allowing players to just settle into a comfortable cycle of abilities like they can now. It also improves the utility of post-nerf Stun/Freeze against bosses, since it will create additional targets which are vulnerable to control ailments while the boss often isn't. This gives characters like Sakia and Natsume a more consistent role in boss battles by letting them protect the party while the attackers work on clearing the field. Each boss's damage could be lowered slightly to offset the increase in difficulty which adds will create.

Having Stun and Freeze raise hit accuracy is a slight buff to compensate for the significant nerfs they've taken here. Also, it always feels bad to miss a target which is frozen in a giant block of ice.


Leader (Forest):

- Nerf: Tactical Retreat no longer fills the Party Gauge.
- Nerf: Tactical Retreat now costs 2 Party Gauge segments instead of 0.
- Nerf: Tactical Retreat can now only target party members who have at least Charge Level 1.
- Nerf: Glory Strike now only increases the Party Gauge by 1 extra segment.
- Buff: Glory Strike now costs 3 AP instead of 4 AP.
- Buff: Glory Strike now deals 25% more damage.
- Buff: Rallying now fills the Party Gauge like regular actions.
- Bug Fix: Tactical Retreat now restores AP based on the target's AP rather than the user's.


Reasoning:

The changes to Tactical Retreat close off the infinite loop which was previously possible, and making it cost Party Gauge segments discourages players from spamming it on multiple allies every turn. The changes to Glory Strike help to equalize the performance of parties which include Forest compared to those which don't, but also help to ease Forest's own AP management issues and increase his damage contribution. These changes shift some focus away from spamming Glory Strike and Tactical Retreat and bring it toward using Rallying and Defensive Maneuver instead. In particular, Rallying now helps Forest to fill the Party Gauge, which helps offset the nerfs to Tactical Retreat and Glory Strike without creating new possibilities for abuse.


Manipulator (Sakia):

- Nerf: Polarizer now costs 6 Party Gauge segments instead of 5.
- Nerf: Bind Hold now costs 4 AP instead of 3 AP.
- Buff: SE Deductor now costs 1 AP instead of 2 AP.
- Rework: Power Charge replaced by a new skill: Debilitate
- New Skill: Debilitate. White Skill, 2 AP. If the target enemy already has any negative status effects, inflict Discourage on it. Increase Sakia's Charge level by 1.


Reasoning:

After the proposed nerfs to Stun/Freeze, Polarizer remains the only skill in the game which can hold a stun lock on a target for multiple consecutive rounds, so a slight nerf to its cost combined with the nerfs to Forest's Tactical Retreat and Glory Strike will make it much more difficult for Sakia to spam it every round.

Increasing Bind Hold's AP cost makes it much more costly for Sakia to Stun more than one enemy in the same turn without the use of Polarizer, and the nerfs to stun prevent her from holding multiple enemies hostage for multiple rounds.

In compensation, Sakia's SE Deductor is cheaper to use, which makes it easier for Sakia to quickly combo SE Deductor and SE Redirect when the opportunity presents itself. With the nerfs to Stun and Freeze, being able to apply these ailments to all enemies is less of a balance concern.

I've also suggested replacing Sakia's Power Charge with a new, more defensive skill. Power Charge never had much synergy with the other elements of Sakia's design - only her basic Strike benefitted from it, and it never put her damage on a level which was comparable to any of the game's dedicated attackers.

Debilitate, the proposed new skill, leans into her combo-oriented design and further pushes Sakia toward a role as a status-oriented tank/support character. Debilitate lets Sakia start off battles more smoothly, giving her a cheap option besides Strike to gain Charge. This reduces her dependence on Forest and also lowers the opportunity cost of using her Magic Barrier.


Hero (Marlon):

- Nerf: Flameball no longer generates AP for Marlon
- Nerf: Flameball no longer generates Party Gauge segments.
- Buff: Flameball now costs 2 AP instead of 4 AP.
- Buff: Flameball now inflicts Ablaze 100% of the time.
- Buff: Limit Break now costs 4 Party Gauge segments instead of 5.
- Bug Fix (?): Counter no longer prevents Charge loss from Tactical Retreat


Reasoning:

The changes to Flameball close the infinite loop which was previously possible while making it a more consistent damage tool, particularly against bosses.

Lowering the cost of Limit Break reduces Marlon's windup period, makes him more consistent in battles, and makes him more compatible with other party members who want to use their Gauge Abilities often. With Forest's resource generation nerfed, Marlon will also enjoy a more desirable niche as a cost-efficient sustained damage dealer.

Finally, the nerfs to status ailments indirectly increase the relevance of Marlon's Counter and Shield Bash skills, since enemies will actually have the chance to attack now.


Ranger (Natsume):

- Buff/Rework: Flame Round, Ice Round, Shock Round, and Crippling Round now all deal damage to the target. These skills now have the same hit rate as Natsume's normal Strike and deal 75% of Strike's base damage.
- Nerf: Ice Round and Shock Round are no longer Instant.
- Rework: Eagle Eye no longer increases Natsume's damage by 15%. Instead, it gives allies +10% Hit Chance and +10% Critical chance for 3 rounds. Party Gauge cost remains at 3.

Reasoning:

Making Natsume's status rounds into damage-dealing skills helps to integrate her roles as sustained damage dealer and status specialist. This change also makes the decision to use Aim Mode or Rapid Mode actually relevant when using Natsume's status skills.

Ice Round and Shock Round have lost their Instant status to lower Natsume's burst damage ceiling while helping incentivize the usage of Flame Round and Crippling Round. The latter two have a more explicit focus on dealing damage, so it makes more sense for them to remain Instant.

Finally, Eagle Eye has been modified to act more as a party support tool rather than a personal damage increase. Natsume's design doesn't lend itself toward her being the primary damage dealer in most parties, despite her aggressive toolkit. This new version of Eagle Eye helps her contribute to the team's offense without putting the burden of dealing damage solely on her.


Assassin (Reiketsu):

- Buff: Poison Slash no longer reduces Reiketsu's Charge level.
- Buff: Smoke Bomb now protects the party from status ailments for 2 rounds.
- Buff/Bug Fix: The second hit of Shadow Strike can no longer strike an enemy who dropped to 0 HP from the first hit.


Reasoning:

Reiketsu is already in a decent spot, but other attackers are receiving buffs that make her high costs and mostly-pure damage focus somewhat less attractive. In particular, her considerable dependence on all three resource types (AP, Charge, Party Gauge) makes her very dependent on Forest. Poison Slash isn't an especially powerful attack for its AP cost, so removing its Charge cost gives Reiketsu a little more breathing room.

Making Smoke Bomb block incoming status for the party is a bit of an off-the-wall idea, but it would give Reiketsu access to an uncommon type of utility which could have a noticeable impact in certain battles, such as the Tundra Blade or Entropia fights. This change would potentially allow players to assemble a more diverse range of party compositions in response to these specific challenges. Smoke Bomb currently seems like an unreliable defensive tool at best (enemies rarely seemed to miss their attacks after each time I used it), and spending 4 AP on it is painful when most of Reiketsu's other skills cost at least 5 AP. She already has Quick Strike in her kit for purely unreliable mitigation, so doubling down with Smoke Bomb isn't really what she needs.


Illuminon (Faeris):

- Buff: Cure is now a White skill instead of Orange.


Reasoning:

Faeris does their job just fine, and suffers mostly for the control-heavy metagame and Ende rendering their abilities redundant. The nerfs to Stun, Freeze, and Forest/Marlon's Party Gauge generation will help to restore them to their proper position (not to mention the Elementalist class's impending removal).

The suggested buff to Cure is mostly just because nothing about Cure really suggests the need for it to be an Orange skill - it's basic, reactive, situational utility, and little else. This buff is mostly relevant when Faeris is Shocked and at Level 1 Charge - currently in this scenario, Shock has two chances to Stun Faeris before they can cure it, which can make it frustrating to get rid of the ailment. This is a niche problem, but addressing it is unlikely to have major balance repercussions for Faeris.


Practitioner (Monolith):

- Rework: Soul Drain's effect changed. New Effect: White Skill, 2 AP. Deal magic damage to one enemy and increase Monolith's Charge level by 1. Monolith recovers 10% of his maximum HP.
- Buff: Waste now deals 15% more damage.
- Nerf: Waste now costs 10% of Monolith's HP instead of 5%.
- Buff: Devour now deals 10% more damage.
- Nerf: Devour now costs 20% of Monolith's HP instead of 15%.
- Buff: Darkness now deals 10% more damage.
- Nerf: Darkness now costs 30% of Monolith's HP instead of 25%.


Reasoning:

Monolith's dependence on his weak Strike when he's not paired with Forest puts him at a significant damage disadvantage compared to Reiketsu. He excels in AoE damage compared to Reiketsu, but the relative scarcity of battles with 3 enemies leaves him with fewer opportunities to excel compared to her. As such, the difference in their single-target damage output needs to be narrowed slightly.

The reworked Soul Drain gives Monolith an alternative to using Strike to regain Charge, and it raises the consistency of his sustained damage output. It also makes him somewhat less dependent on having Forest and a healer in the party.

The remainder of the changes raise the HP costs of Monolith's skills to offset his increased self-healing, but increase his damage output slightly to compensate. These changes aren't likely to be enough to let Monolith overtake Reiketsu when it comes to bursting down bosses, but instead, he becomes more of a specialist at efficiently killing the waves of enemies leading up to bosses. The inclusion of adds in boss waves will also let him maintain this role during the boss rounds themselves. The goal is for the choice of Monolith vs. Reiketsu to depend more on the player's playstyle and party composition than on the math driving their damage output.


Blood Driver (Anna):

- New Skill: Transfusion. Anna loses 20% of her max HP and heals an ally for 150% of this amount.
- Buff: Reaper Drive no longer reduces Anna's AP gain.
- Buff: Razing Edge now triggers healing from Bloodrush.
- Buff: Razing Edge now also grants Anna 1 AP if she has <50% max HP.
- Rework: Bloody Harvest's effect changed. New Effect: Siphon HP from the target based on Anna's missing HP. Charge Level -1.
- Rework: Bloody Ensemble's effect changed. New Effect: Grant the target ally Bloodrush for 2 turns. Party Gauge cost reduced from 6 to 5.

Reasoning:

Anna will benefit from the nerfs to Stun and Freeze, which will expose her to more damage on average, but she still needs significant adjustments to succeed against the competition. As such, her balance suggestions amount to more of a full-on rework.

The first problem which needs to be addressed is that Anna's skills become much less useful when her HP is high. The proposed Transfusion skill lets Anna convert her HP into healing for allies, helping her to fill the rare healing niche while making sure that her self-healing abilities are more consistently useful. Transfusion is not an Instant skill, but to help justify its HP cost, it is relatively cheap and powerful compared to other available healing.

Reaper Drive simply isn't a powerful enough skill to warrant an AP penalty. It seems to only increase Anna's aggro rate by approximately +15%, and the retaliation damage it deals is very underwhelming. There is less reason to turn Reaper Drive off with the removal of the AP penalty, but this was never a large part of the strategy behind Anna's usage anyways.

Razing Edge has been buffed to better synergize with Anna's role as a damage sponge. While it's an okay attack normally, when Anna's HP starts to get low, its effective cost is reduced from 3 AP to 2. This can help her to quickly charge her reworked Bloody Ensemble, or she can use Razing Edge after Bloody Ensemble to rapidly recover HP.

The reworked Bloody Harvest no longer grants/triggers Bloodrush, but as a scaling lifesteal attack, Anna can use it to quickly get out of trouble when her Bloody Ensemble isn't available. Bloody Harvest becomes stronger when used in tandem with both Reaper Drive and Transfusion, since both skills help her get to lower HP faster while benefitting the party.

Finally, Bloody Ensemble has taken over Bloody Harvest's former Bloodrush effect, but with some key changes. The big difference is that Bloody Ensemble can now target an ally, granting them Bloodrush instead of Anna. This allows Bloody Ensemble to serve as an emergency burst heal for powerful damage dealers like Reiketsu or Monolith. However, since Anna is the slowest member of the party, the target of Bloody Ensemble will usually only get a single turn to heal from Bloodrush.

On the other hand, Bloody Ensemble is an Instant ability, which means that if Anna uses it on herself, she can get two full turns to heal with its effect. Her Razing Edge skill will let her regain HP multiple times per turn, particularly if she starts with <50% of her max HP, and being able to quickly recover HP each turn means that she'll have an easier time converting that HP back into party healing via Transfusion.

Overall, these changes are meant to improve the synergy of Anna's kit and to increase the amount of utility she brings to the party. With Freeze and Stun taking a nerf, Anna's expanded healing abilities help to fill a defensive gap in the roster, and the addition of a another healer will open up new potential party combinations.

In this reworked form, Anna's weaknesses include her vulnerability to most status ailments (which are especially risky for her in Reaper Drive), powerful AoE attacks from enemies, and her dependence on secondary resources (Charge/Party Gauge) to heal herself reliably. If the player does not plan ahead and monitor her HP closely, strong enemies can overwhelm her.

I think that wraps up most of my thoughts on the current build. Regarding the upcoming changes you mentioned, I think they sound good overall. The Elementalist always struck me as a class with a bit of an identity crisis - it wanted to fill every role, but without Forest, it could only do one of them at once, and usually not as well as other characters. I thought Ende sat near the bottom of the tier list before I discovered Party Gauge abuse tactics. Increasing Focus also seems worthwhile, since I felt like any non-Forest party I tried out always felt a bit resource-starved. Increasing the power of Focus will also make it easier to regularly use Instant skills every round in battle, though, and in turn, the Party Gauge will fill faster on average, so that's something to keep in mind.

On a final note, I wanted to mention a couple bugs I encountered during battles. I don't have extensive info on these because I was focused more on character analysis, but I wanted to make sure you knew about them.

Bugs:

- In certain battles, Faeris's healing output seems to get cut exactly in half from the second round of battle until the end. There were no status effects on Faeris indicating a change. This happened to me a number of times, notably in the fight against Entropia. In certain other battles, their healing functions normally - I noticed the problem starting in the third area.

- The turn order occasionally glitches and repeatedly skips over the same character. Clearing the current wave seems to reset things, but the glitch seems likely to recur during the same fight, and it can affect different characters on different waves. One fight where I remember running into this was in the final battle of the Mountain area, where the turn order skipped over Sakia for 3 consecutive rounds before I cleared the wave.


And that's everything! Apologies again for the monstrous walls of text, but I figured a comprehensive breakdown would be more useful to you in the long run than a quick and breezy review. Let me know if you have any questions/comments about my experience with the game and my thoughts on potential changes! Hope some of it helps!
 
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Biestmann

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Hey, everyone! Have a quick developer's note to end the week on! User @Soryuju put a lot of care into writing up a balance report for the game, and so far I had neglected to respond to his or her points. The truth is, I have been carefully going over every bit of feedback he or she submitted since this past Wednesday, and the result is a very long list of patch notes for the upcoming update. I always take player feedback very seriously, and so I thought I should take the time needed to dwell on it.

While the update itself is not ready just yet, I thought the best possible way to respond would be an excerpt of the part of the patch notes relevant to the balance changes they suggested. These changes are not final, so be free to speak your mind - that goes for @Soryuju and everyone else! And again, let me say that I am incredibly thankful for the time and effort put into writing this amount of feedback for the game. I will be sure to honor and repay the deed!


  • Changed the effect of the item Reviver
    • Before: Removes Knockout status and recovers 100% HP
    • After: Removes Knockout status and recovers 100% HP and AP
  • Changed the effect of the item Attack Boost
    • Before: Boosts ATK and MTK for 2 turns
    • After: Boosts ATK and MTK of all allies for 2 turns
  • Changed the effect of the item Defense Boost
    • Before: Boosts DEF and MDF for 2 turns
    • After: Boosts DEF and MDF of all allies for 2 turns


General

  • Changed the effect of the combat action Focus
    • Before: User recovers 1-3 AP
    • After: User recovers 2-4 AP; may cause AP Surge (5% rate)
Hero

  • Flame Ball cannot target enemies already set Ablaze
  • The cost, damage calculation and effect of Flame Ball has changed
    • Before: 4AP; Recover 1-3AP, slight chance to inflict Ablaze on the target and gain 1 charge level; no damage
    • After: 2AP; Inflict Ablaze on the target and gain 1 charge level; 1/1.5/2/2.5/3% max HP damage based on the target
  • Reduced the cost of the gauge ability Limit Break
    • Before: 5 gauge bar segments
    • After: 4 gauge bar segments
Elementalist

  • Removed the Elementalist class from the game
    • Over the course of the update cycle, other classes received reworks and additional abilities. As for the Elementalist, I remained uninspired on how to create a class with a clear purpose and a fun playstyle. The Elementalist may be effective, but ultimately plays plainly. Therefore, I decided to remove the class from the game altogether. I apologize for the inconvenience and those fond of the class and Ende, who was spared from the dream in the end.
Blood Driver

  • Increased the physical attack value of the Blood Driver at any level by roughly 31%
  • Renamed Bloody Ensemble -> Blood Echo
  • Changed the cost of the gauge ability Blood Echo
    • Before: 6 gauge bar segments
    • After: 4 gauge bar segments
  • Added a second gauge ability to the Blood Driver: Cellular Scream
    • Cellular Scream: 0 gauge bar segments; Sacrifice 50% of the user's HP to inflict heavy damage on the enemy rows.
Leader

  • Reduced the cost and effect of Glory Strike
    • Before: 4AP; 2 gauge bar segments generated
    • After: 3AP; 1.5 gauge bar segments generated
  • The gauge ability Tactical Retreat will not generate gauge bar segments
  • Changed the availability, scope and effect of the gauge ability Tactical Retreat
    • Before: Can be used while charge level 1 or 2; can be used on a character of any charge level; the target recovers 50% of their AP
    • After: Can be used on any charge level; can be used on characters of charge level 1 or 2; the target recovers 5AP
Assassin

  • Increased the odds of applying Poisoned to enemies upon the use of Poison Slash
    • Before: 50/55/X/X/X%
    • After: 75/80/X/X/X%
Manipulator

  • The cost, casting time and damage calculation of Bind Hold has changed
    • Before: 3AP; instant; no damage
    • After: 4AP; takes up turn; regular damage
Ranger

  • The hit rate and damage calculations of Crippling Round, Flame Round, Ice Round and Shock Round have changed
    • Before: Guaranteed hit; no damage
    • After: Physical attack; minor neutral/fire/ice/lightning damage
  • Ice Round and Shock Round no longer cast instantly
Illuminon

  • Changed the availability of the ability Cure
    • Before: Orange ability
    • After: White ability
Practitioner

  • Reduced the cost of all of the Practitioner’s abilities by 1AP
  • Updated the description of Waste and Devour to include their charge level reduction effect
  • Resurrection now is an orange-grade ability of the Practitioner and its cost has changed
    • Before: 8 gauge bar segments
    • After: 4AP
  • Soul Drain now is the gauge ability of the Practitioner and its cost has changed
    • Before: 4AP
    • After: 5 gauge bar segments
  • Discourage and Fear increase the caster’s charge level by 1

  • Slime-type enemies will recover HP every turn
    • Boss-type slimes will recover less HP than regular slimes
  • Removed superfluous attack from Entropia’s ability set

  • Added new status effect: AP Surge
    • Ap Surge: (3 turns) Overflowing energy allows limitless ability usage.
  • The Frozen and Stunned status effects both allow for action input, however, the action will not be executed. The purpose of this change is to allow players to weigh combat actions despite the character’s inability to act
  • Upon expiration or attack removal of Frozen, an ice break animation will play
  • Changed the effect of Counter
    • Before: Counter up to 2 physical attacks per turn
    • After: Counter up to 1 physical attack per turn
  • Changed the effect of Reaper Drive
    • Before: -10% AP Regeneration & increased aggro rate & cause recoil damage
    • After: Attract all physical single-target attacks & cause recoil damage
  • Changed the effect of Shadow Cloak
    • Before: Evasion rate increased by 50% until suffering damage
    • After: Evasion rate increased by 50% & AP regeneration per turn increased by 10% until suffering damage
  • Changed the effect of Smoke Bomb
    • Before: Hit rate decreased by 25%
    • After: Hit rate decreased by 50%
  • Changed the duration and effect of Soul Drain
    • Before: (5 turns) Lose HP according to 5% max HP of the inflictor per turn & recovers the same amount on the inflictor
    • After: (Indefinitely) Lose HP according to 20% max HP of the inflictor per turn & recovers the same amount on the inflictor

Next, with the removal of the 9th class and the return to the magical number of party members of 8 - a staple in JRPGs since oldest times - I was given the opportunity to rework the party menu screen to better showcase the great character artwork being created for Eternal Dreamers. I really adore these characters, and they deserve to shine as bright as they possibly can. I hope you like it!


WIP Party Menu Screen

Work on the patch is progressing slowly, but smoothly! Please be just a bit more patient!
So long!
 

MechScapeZH

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Hey, everyone! Have a quick developer's note to end the week on! User @Soryuju put a lot of care into writing up a balance report for the game, and so far I had neglected to respond to his or her points. The truth is, I have been carefully going over every bit of feedback he or she submitted since this past Wednesday, and the result is a very long list of patch notes for the upcoming update. I always take player feedback very seriously, and so I thought I should take the time needed to dwell on it.

While the update itself is not ready just yet, I thought the best possible way to respond would be an excerpt of the part of the patch notes relevant to the balance changes they suggested. These changes are not final, so be free to speak your mind - that goes for @Soryuju and everyone else! And again, let me say that I am incredibly thankful for the time and effort put into writing this amount of feedback for the game. I will be sure to honor and repay the deed!


  • Changed the effect of the item Reviver
    • Before: Removes Knockout status and recovers 100% HP
    • After: Removes Knockout status and recovers 100% HP and AP
  • Changed the effect of the item Attack Boost
    • Before: Boosts ATK and MTK for 2 turns
    • After: Boosts ATK and MTK of all allies for 2 turns
  • Changed the effect of the item Defense Boost
    • Before: Boosts DEF and MDF for 2 turns
    • After: Boosts DEF and MDF of all allies for 2 turns


General

  • Changed the effect of the combat action Focus
    • Before: User recovers 1-3 AP
    • After: User recovers 2-4 AP; may cause AP Surge (5% rate)
Hero

  • Flame Ball cannot target enemies already set Ablaze
  • The cost, damage calculation and effect of Flame Ball has changed
    • Before: 4AP; Recover 1-3AP, slight chance to inflict Ablaze on the target and gain 1 charge level; no damage
    • After: 2AP; Inflict Ablaze on the target and gain 1 charge level; 1/1.5/2/2.5/3% max HP damage based on the target
  • Reduced the cost of the gauge ability Limit Break
    • Before: 5 gauge bar segments
    • After: 4 gauge bar segments
Elementalist

  • Removed the Elementalist class from the game
    • Over the course of the update cycle, other classes received reworks and additional abilities. As for the Elementalist, I remained uninspired on how to create a class with a clear purpose and a fun playstyle. The Elementalist may be effective, but ultimately plays plainly. Therefore, I decided to remove the class from the game altogether. I apologize for the inconvenience and those fond of the class and Ende, who was spared from the dream in the end.
Blood Driver

  • Increased the physical attack value of the Blood Driver at any level by roughly 31%
  • Renamed Bloody Ensemble -> Blood Echo
  • Changed the cost of the gauge ability Blood Echo
    • Before: 6 gauge bar segments
    • After: 4 gauge bar segments
  • Added a second gauge ability to the Blood Driver: Cellular Scream
    • Cellular Scream: 0 gauge bar segments; Sacrifice 50% of the user's HP to inflict heavy damage on the enemy rows.
Leader

  • Reduced the cost and effect of Glory Strike
    • Before: 4AP; 2 gauge bar segments generated
    • After: 3AP; 1.5 gauge bar segments generated
  • The gauge ability Tactical Retreat will not generate gauge bar segments
  • Changed the availability, scope and effect of the gauge ability Tactical Retreat
    • Before: Can be used while charge level 1 or 2; can be used on a character of any charge level; the target recovers 50% of their AP
    • After: Can be used on any charge level; can be used on characters of charge level 1 or 2; the target recovers 5AP
Assassin

  • Increased the odds of applying Poisoned to enemies upon the use of Poison Slash
    • Before: 50/55/X/X/X%
    • After: 75/80/X/X/X%
Manipulator

  • The cost, casting time and damage calculation of Bind Hold has changed
    • Before: 3AP; instant; no damage
    • After: 4AP; takes up turn; regular damage
Ranger

  • The hit rate and damage calculations of Crippling Round, Flame Round, Ice Round and Shock Round have changed
    • Before: Guaranteed hit; no damage
    • After: Physical attack; minor neutral/fire/ice/lightning damage
  • Ice Round and Shock Round no longer cast instantly
Illuminon

  • Changed the availability of the ability Cure
    • Before: Orange ability
    • After: White ability
Practitioner

  • Reduced the cost of all of the Practitioner’s abilities by 1AP
  • Updated the description of Waste and Devour to include their charge level reduction effect
  • Resurrection now is an orange-grade ability of the Practitioner and its cost has changed
    • Before: 8 gauge bar segments
    • After: 4AP
  • Soul Drain now is the gauge ability of the Practitioner and its cost has changed
    • Before: 4AP
    • After: 5 gauge bar segments
  • Discourage and Fear increase the caster’s charge level by 1

  • Slime-type enemies will recover HP every turn
    • Boss-type slimes will recover less HP than regular slimes
  • Removed superfluous attack from Entropia’s ability set

  • Added new status effect: AP Surge
    • Ap Surge: (3 turns) Overflowing energy allows limitless ability usage.
  • The Frozen and Stunned status effects both allow for action input, however, the action will not be executed. The purpose of this change is to allow players to weigh combat actions despite the character’s inability to act
  • Upon expiration or attack removal of Frozen, an ice break animation will play
  • Changed the effect of Counter
    • Before: Counter up to 2 physical attacks per turn
    • After: Counter up to 1 physical attack per turn
  • Changed the effect of Reaper Drive
    • Before: -10% AP Regeneration & increased aggro rate & cause recoil damage
    • After: Attract all physical single-target attacks & cause recoil damage
  • Changed the effect of Shadow Cloak
    • Before: Evasion rate increased by 50% until suffering damage
    • After: Evasion rate increased by 50% & AP regeneration per turn increased by 10% until suffering damage
  • Changed the effect of Smoke Bomb
    • Before: Hit rate decreased by 25%
    • After: Hit rate decreased by 50%
  • Changed the duration and effect of Soul Drain
    • Before: (5 turns) Lose HP according to 5% max HP of the inflictor per turn & recovers the same amount on the inflictor
    • After: (Indefinitely) Lose HP according to 20% max HP of the inflictor per turn & recovers the same amount on the inflictor

Next, with the removal of the 9th class and the return to the magical number of party members of 8 - a staple in JRPGs since oldest times - I was given the opportunity to rework the party menu screen to better showcase the great character artwork being created for Eternal Dreamers. I really adore these characters, and they deserve to shine as bright as they possibly can. I hope you like it!


WIP Party Menu Screen

Work on the patch is progressing slowly, but smoothly! Please be just a bit more patient!
So long!
First of all: Practitioner is buffed, hooray! I could probably actually finish the game with the class now! The item buffs & Focus' increase in power were also sorely needed. Since the party must survive ten rounds of combat per stage, making it easier to keep them in good shape is very appreciated.
 

Biestmann

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First of all: Practitioner is buffed, hooray! I could probably actually finish the game with the class now! The item buffs & Focus' increase in power were also sorely needed. Since the party must survive ten rounds of combat per stage, making it easier to keep them in good shape is very appreciated.
Monolith should be a lot more effective against bosses with his greatly improved Soul Drain. Until reaching those fights, the challenge remains to keep him alive. Thanks to his debuffs increasing his charge level now, however, he should be able to use Darkness to clear out enemy rows with much more ease.

The primary reason that I felt the support items were in need of a buff was Forest's incredible utility. They still don't hold a candle to him of course, but are a lot more attractive to use now. This change was something I had decided on even before receiving @Soryuju's incredible feedback.
 

MechScapeZH

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"We've got a monster problem? Let me handle it!"
-not-so-humble ace hunter, Natsume-

Very well done! The style reminds me of mid-2000s anime- when it was just getting popular. The character's personality is evident from this one portrait. If you expand on her characterization, she has the potential to be very, very memorable- audiences remember arrogant, larger-than-life characters like her.

Who is the artist?
 

Biestmann

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Very well done! The style reminds me of mid-2000s anime- when it was just getting popular. The character's personality is evident from this one portrait. If you expand on her characterization, she has the potential to be very, very memorable- audiences remember arrogant, larger-than-life characters like her.

Who is the artist?
Whoever you have doing the art for you is doing a phenomenal job. This looks great.
I am happy to hear you two like her. I also think she looks fantastic! This expression isn't her in-game default, but it's my favorite for sure. The name of the incredible artist is addrossi. Coming across his work was a game changer for my project.
 

MechScapeZH

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I am happy to hear you two like her. I also think she looks fantastic! This expression isn't her in-game default, but it's my favorite for sure. The name of the incredible artist is addrossi. Coming across his work was a game changer for my project.
Ah, so that's his name! His art is wonderful.
 

Biestmann

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"In the future, even a sentient computer program can become the star of the masses!"
-News reporter ShirA.I. on her success-




In a recent update, I added a news channel to the game to keep players informed of events transpiring outside of the Dream. With the introduction of ShirA.I., I am upping the presentation of this feature. December's patch is starting to look meaty! So long!
 

Lilly

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I played that game! I really liked the battlesystem and skills!
(A bit confused at the beginning...BUT I FIGURED IT OUT!!)

The story seems a little sad, but not really and all the characters are all amazing!
BUT I haven't really gotten a chance to do friendship...

Your game is looking amazing, keep it up and good job fellow artist!
I draw normal art and am exceptional at pixel art!
 

MechScapeZH

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"In the future, even a sentient computer program can become the star of the masses!"
-News reporter ShirA.I. on her success-




In a recent update, I added a news channel to the game to keep players informed of events transpiring outside of the Dream. With the introduction of ShirA.I., I am upping the presentation of this feature. December's patch is starting to look meaty! So long!
Now, this is interesting- a sentient computer program? If she's a program, why does she look human? Is there a story behind that? Although there is a history in sci-fi of computer programs being depicted as female humans- was there any specific inspiration for this character?

Don't waste this character on a broadcast, @Biestmann- let's see her take action! You can't relegate a unique character like this to a framing device. :)
 

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@Lilly Thank you so much for playing my little game! I am so glad you enjoyed story, gameplay and characters. There is a strong tonal divide between what's happening in the real world and the player's adventure, and that's exactly intended. The world's population is falling asleep one by one, but you don't really witness much of that. 'A little sad, but not really' fits just right!

I'll relay your cheers to our artist! I also really like your pixel art!

@MechScapeZH This character was created by my girlfriend as her own personal virtual avatar. She offered I use it for my game, and I immediately thought of this role for her. In terms of world lore, the technology is advanced enough to put scientists into induced comas and communicate with them from the outside world either way, so an A.I. news reporter really isn't anything that impressive at this point.

Unfortunately, the game's characters are firmly set in their roles at this point in development, so this is what it will be for her. I personally enjoy this kind of extra flavor however!
If the theoretical sequel ever comes to pass, maybe she'll get her time to shine then.

Thank you for your continued interest!
 

MechScapeZH

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@Lilly Thank you so much for playing my little game! I am so glad you enjoyed story, gameplay and characters. There is a strong tonal divide between what's happening in the real world and the player's adventure, and that's exactly intended. The world's population is falling asleep one by one, but you don't really witness much of that. 'A little sad, but not really' fits just right!

I'll relay your cheers to our artist! I also really like your pixel art!

@MechScapeZH This character was created by my girlfriend as her own personal virtual avatar. She offered I use it for my game, and I immediately thought of this role for her. In terms of world lore, the technology is advanced enough to put scientists into induced comas and communicate with them from the outside world either way, so an A.I. news reporter really isn't anything that impressive at this point.

Unfortunately, the game's characters are firmly set in their roles at this point in development, so this is what it will be for her. I personally enjoy this kind of extra flavor however!
If the theoretical sequel ever comes to pass, maybe she'll get her time to shine then.

Thank you for your continued interest!
Ah, I see. In that case, this is a good role for her- it's cool that you incorporated her character. :)
 

Biestmann

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Thank you for 20.000 clicks!

I feel very humbled! This project has come quite some ways since its inception three years ago, and we are so close to the finishing line now! I am preparing a meaty Christmas gift in the form of a new patch; I hope everyone will enjoy it!
 

alcreator440

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Thank you for 20.000 clicks!

I feel very humbled! This project has come quite some ways since its inception three years ago, and we are so close to the finishing line now! I am preparing a meaty Christmas gift in the form of a new patch; I hope everyone will enjoy it!
Congrats dude! Looking forward to that update.
 

MechScapeZH

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Thank you for 20.000 clicks!

I feel very humbled! This project has come quite some ways since its inception three years ago, and we are so close to the finishing line now! I am preparing a meaty Christmas gift in the form of a new patch; I hope everyone will enjoy it!
You earned it! Thousands of people are waiting to play your amazing game. :)
 

Biestmann

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With the update around the corner, I have temporarily removed the downloadable demo. This new version will include many balance changes that alter the flow of combat, so I'd rather people get the up-to-date experience once available. Thank you for your understanding!
 

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