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A Conversation on rebalancing VI classes and difficulty

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I dreamtrain have a dream.

There's all sorts of mods out there rebalancing abilities and difficulty out there, such as FFT, the reloaded patches for Golden Sun 1 and 2, and there's one out there for DQV that lets you recruit more monsters, I'd love to one day see the same for Dragon Quest 6 and my objective here would be to see what the community that actually likes this game thinks, pool ideas and see how much interest there is in this happening, maybe we could crowdsource this eventually. 

First off something that would kick up the game as if you were playing under the Stronger Monsters Draconian Quest where major bosses can get up to 3 turns, are a bit more likely to use desperate attacks and get around 20% increase in stats (Exact value not confirmed), and grant them some new skills so they normally wouldn't have to keep you on your toes. Since you don't have any skills in the first third before Dharma/Alltrades, perhaps include a soft buff (not in stats, but get extra options for damage and mitigation) so you don't feel like you're doing Rhone with only boring plain auto attacks, I haven't really thought through this part of the game yet, let me know your thoughts if you disagree and would actually like it that way for that portion of the game.

Secondly, a rebalance of the jobs so that everything feels useful and you feel a bit more encouraged to try the other classes and have more options to deal damage aside Focus Strength/Knuckle Sandwich on bosses (if its possible to tweak the resistances table for this), the point of a difficulty increase is not so that for bosses you have no choice but to do a turtle formation on bosses just doing 80 damage total each turn while you try to survive. I'm really against difficulty by inconveniencing, I think that's boring, if I want to hit like a wet noodle I'll turn to II or V, I really feel you should feel strong while fighting back the stronger monsters, and I feel XI achieved that with the draconian quests: in some turns you had to regroup because of the onslaught of damage and conditions, but when you could deal damage it was meaningful because of the selection of options you have, thats what I would like to achieve with a difficulty mod. At the same time I would recommend removing the free pass you get with just Boulder Tossing everything with gladiators at no cost.

Also, as I'm not sure how much is feasible to edit the existing game, the scope would lie in using the existing abilities available in VI, but if it was possible to code in a few custom-mades that behaves like skills from IX and XI to grant diversity to the options available that would be great (in which case it would be worth to grant these new skills to enemies also so they hit keep you on your toes). Another thing I think would be worth editing, is the Whack resistance many abilities have that essentially makes them useless in most scenarios.

I'll start with what I think is the class that requires the most rework: Ranger and its sub-classes, this path offers a lot of out of battle utility that I think would require further editing of the game out of combat so you feel they have an actual impact, but more on that later. The first thing this class needs is a lower battle requirement to unlock, lowered from a total of 435 down to 315 (In comparison the much stronger Gladiator requires 350 between Warrior and Martial Artist, and Sage needs 340 between Mage and Priest), this alone makes it somewhat more competitive with the other classes for it to be a path for Hero, some tweaks would also be added so that it's not an absolute chore to progress this class and the end result of this class path is to be a jack of all trades being a secondary damage dealer in comparison to the Gladiator and being a decent backup healer second to the Sage (mirroring the healing support Ranger gets in IX).

Thief

Spoiler

 

Statistics Change
Battles to Master 140 -> 105
Strength -10% -> -5%
Agility +20%
Resilience -30% -> 20%
Wisdom -10%
Style -20% -> 0%
Max HP -10%
Max MP -40% -> -30%
Trait Auto-Steal

A small buff to the Thief's stats, so it doesn't feels like a punishment picking Thief as a starting class. 

Level Title Learns Battles Needed Target Info MP
1 Pickpocket Muster Strength 1 User Deals 200%~250% damage on the users their next attack. 0
Sandstorm One Group Summons a sandstorm that blinds enemies. 0
2 Purse Snatcher Shove 4 One Ally A powerful push that propels enemies out of the picture. 0
Safe Passage Self Allows the party to pass unscathed over potentially perilous ground. 2
3 Pilferer Stone's Throw 17 Enemies Hurls rocks at a single group of enemies 0
4 Henchman Peep 33 Self Reveals the nature of the treasure in a chest. 2
5 Cat Burglar Snoop 48 Self Locates hidden curiosities. 2
Nose for Treasure Self Reports the number of nearby treasures. 0
6 Criminal Genius Storeyteller 66 Field Reveals which level of a building or dungeon the user is on. 2
7 Crime Boss Padfoot 80 Field Keeps weaker monsters away. 4
8 Kingpin Pressure Pointer 105 One enemy Targets a vital spot to take down an enemy instantly. 0

This borrows a lot from the 3DS remake, allows the thief to be a secondary damage dealer (since the whole class path is meant to be a jack of all trade) when dealing with strong enemies/bosses while also helping in clearing enemy groups with Stone's throw. Since Klepto Clobber doesn't exists in VI I borrowed Pressure Pointer from Martial Artist, as it fits the thief's thematic of killing with daggers.

 

Monster Master

Spoiler

 

Statistics Change
Battles to Master 165 -> 105
Strength -15% -> 10%
Resilience -20% -> 0%
Max HP -20% -> 10%
Max MP -30%
Trait Low chance for enemies to be asleep during first round

With lack of monster recruitment, there is a lot of missing purpose for this class, so I think at the very least it shouldn't feel like you're a punching bag while you're progressing it. If possible I would remove this class, divide the battles needed between Thief and Merchant.

Level Title Learns Battles Needed Target Info MP
1 Slime Master Squelch 1 One Ally Cures a single ally of the effects of poison. 2
2 Beast Master Tongue Bashing 4

One enemy

A punishing lick to reduce the enemy's defence.

0
3 Zombie Master Poison Breath 17 One group Poisons a group of enemies. 0
4 Nature Master

Sweet Breath

33 Enemy group A fragrant sigh that lulls a group of enemies to sleep. 0
5 Demon Master Cool Breath 48 All enemies A chilly breath attack. 0
6 Troll Master Flame Breath 66 All enemies A fiercely fiery breath attack. 0
7 Material Master Burning Breath 80 One group Paralyses the enemy with a torrid sigh. 0
8 Dragon Master Puff! 105 Self Transform into a fire-breathing dragon. 18

If possible I'd change Puff! to cost less MP, or no MP like Amos'

 


Merchant

Spoiler

 

Statistics Change
Battles to Master 105
Strength -5%
Agility -40% -> -20%
Resilience -20%
Wisdom +20%
Style -20% -> 0%
Max MP -50% -> +10%
Trait Extra gold per battle

I don't understand why some classes have negative Style, but I don't think a money maker would have negative style! So we had Thief as a speedy character who can deal some moderate damage in the battlefield, the Monster Master with its breaths dealing some party wide damage and now the merchant the Wisdom bonus leads me to believe it was intended by the developers to help you build your character's base MP in the future, while restricting you from using many spells for whatever reason while mastering it (or perhaps its just thematic in that Merchants are smart business people). The Ranger has a similar wisdom stat bonus that was changed for the mobile version except the Merchant got to be crippled by having very little MP. I'll be applying the same train of thought to it and allow the Merchant to be a bit of a pseudo caster with an MP bonus, if you mastered Monster Master first it should feel good to use Puff/BeDragon with a decent MP pool, the ability already has its own drawbacks that balance it. In IX Rangers get to have some utilities like Midheal and Tingle who get to serve as a backup priest, so I will be adding those to the merchant (saving Zing for Ranger).

Level Title Learns Battles Needed Target Info MP
1 Huckster Peep 1 One item Reveals the nature of the treasure in a chest. Also enables item appraisal. 1
2 Peddler Body Slam 7 One Enemy Sacrifice the self to slam the enemy senseless. 0
3 Salesclerk Dig 15 Self Dig in the dirt to unearth hidden treasure. 0
4 Pitchman Tingle 24 Self Cures all party members of the effects of sleep and paralysis. 0
5 Trader War Cry 40 All enemies A booming yell to make the enemy recoil in fear. 0
6 Broker Midheal 60 One ally Restores at least 75 HP to a single ally. 0
7 Magnate Service Call 82 Self Summons on-the-spot aid with a sonorous shout. 15
8 Tycoon Call to Arms 105 Special Enlist the aid of an army of mercenaries...for a price. Level x50g

 

 

 

Ranger

Spoiler

 

Statistics Change
Battles to Master 200
Strength -10% -> 0%
Agility +20%
Resilience -20% -> -10%
Wisdom +10%
Max HP -10%
Max MP +20%
Trait Increased chance of fleeing the enemy
Mastery Bonus +20 Agility

As mentioned before this class got a buff in the mobile version to MP which I would be keeping here. It shouldn't feel like you're being punished for using the class

 

Level Title Learns Battles Needed Target Info MP
1 Woodcutter

Insulatle

1

Party

Reduces the damage of fire and ice attacks

0

2 Trailblazer

Pyre o' Fire

20 One group

A pillar of flame that singes the enemy.

0
3 Gatherer

Zing

50 Ally

Occasionally resurrects a fallen ally with half HP restored.

10
4 Trapper Stomp 80 All enemies Creates a violent vibration that shakes up enemies. 0
5 Tracker

Tidal Wave

110 All enemies

A massive ocean wave that damages all enemies.

0
6 Stalker Defending Champion 140 Self Greatly reduces the damage inflicted by physical attacks. 0
7 Predator Venom Mist 170 One group Envenomates a group of enemies. 0
8 King of the Hunt Backdraft 200 Self Whips up a tailwind that reflects an enemy breath attack. 0

 

I moved Pyre of Fire sooner as a reward of sorts for choosing Ranger, plus Venom Mist having % damage means its stronger later in the game, I've also borrowed the Sage's Tidal Wave, it feels quite out of place with Sages and I think it would have a better home with Rangers who can choose between Stomp at land or Tidal Wave at sea, I forget what damage it deals but I'd should be buffed to a reasonable amount if it turned to be weak. Was considering bringing the Armamentalist's Magma Blast here to complete the thematic of the Ranger dealing damage depending on the environment.

edit: tentatively, edit the titles of the Ranger to match the SFC, White Ranger, Yellow Ranger, Red Ranger, etc.

 

So that is it for now, really open for suggestions so long as they make sense, enhance the gameplay in a fair way and aren't made up skills/classes that don't exist outside the world of Dragon Quest. 

Edited by dreamtrain
Bring back the Sentai/Power Rangers titles
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I can't say much about balancing, but I'd love to see a mod that replaces the gimped Monster Master class with Monster Tamer from the original. The engine supports monster catching (see DQV) so there's really no excuse for it being gimped in VI. (Also, canonically, it just doesn't make sense - why has Terry forgotten how to tame monsters? He starred a whole game based around the concept.)

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There’s to many skills. Changing classes should not modify existing stats, so people can specifically specialized and for example, Carver changing into a mage would make him carry over his garbage MP and Magic, however, the mage would then lower his stat gains for health/defense/attack so we could make hybrid characters based either or on whatever you want. And just add the existing monsters back into the game, with the old Monster Tamer. Honestly I would prefer these changes to the SFC version, but idaf anymore.

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If they didn't tear out the part of the code that involves recruiting monster and people want it then let the people have monsters, I don't think it makes Monster Master or the whole Ranger path any significantly powerful that it would need to have its stats be crap though

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Posted (edited)

I've been mulling a few balance ideas over in my head for a while. One of my big criticisms of VI is that the characters blend together too easily, both due to similar equipment pools and the nature of the vocation system. To address the former, here is a set list I picked out to reflect the character's natures and for variety:

Hero: swords, bows, wands

Carver: claws, hammers/axes, bo staves

Milly: lightweight swords, fans, bows

Ashlynn: claws, whips, wands

Nevan: bo staves, wands, spears

Amos: scythes, axes/hammers, bows

Terry: swords, spears, boomerangs (keeps the orichalcum fang joke though)

Lizzie: fangs, axes/hammers, flails

This would require some weapons from later games to be added, but that ought to be easy enough on the programming side of things. Amos gets scythes because he's a good ol' boy, and because those things are wicked in VIII.

 

As for the vocations themselves, I think the merchant should be removed all together. I've never been short on cash myself in any playthrough, and the scant few good abilities it offers can be moved to other professions. Personally, I think Monster Masters and Rangers need the most work:

Monster master

Rank 1: Soothe sayer, Squelch

Rank 2: Lullaby

Rank 3: Heal

Rank 4: Dig

Rank 5: Tongue Bashing

Rank 6: Weird Dance

Rank 7: War Cry

Rank 8: Puff

This is a complete overhaul to focus on animal husbandry, with all breath skills being replaced with either logical counterparts or removed outright because the free breath skills are over powered compared to the attack spells. This is a point of contention I see brought up by Japanese fans frequently, and it does make sense: why pay 6 MP to cast Sizzle when when Flame Breath hits higher and covers all enemies? Furthermore, humanoids breathing fire just looks dumb and that's why Level-5 moved all the breath skills to Munchie in VIII.

Ranger Status changes: HP:+10%, MP:-10%, Str:-10%, Res:0%, Agi:+20%, Wis:+10%

Special: Recruitment chance treats rate as if it were one higher, IE 1/64 to 1/32: Chance increases by one stage at rank 3, and again at rank 8.

rank 1: Safe passage, Vanish

rank 2: Midheal, Cobra Strike

rank 3: Mercy, Cock-a-doodle-doo

rank 4: Mist me, insulatle

rank 5: Moreheal

rank 6: Backdraft

rank 7: Call of the wild

rank 8: Brownie boost

This ranger is effectively an eco-ninja, with some of the jack of all trades style from IX. Vanish replaces holy protection but would work like Padfoot without the increased susceptibility to being caught off-guard, and Cobra Strike replaces Venom Mist to keep the poison aspect while making it more useful: instead of a group sweep it would use Kasnooze's accuracy rate on one enemy for almost guaranteed poisoning. Mercy would be a better Poof, in that it uses the normal 100%, 85%, 50% rates against all enemies. Mist Me replaces Defending Champion due to theming, and it's effectively the same result anyway.

Brownie boost is usually a super move, but I believe that making it a regular skill in this case would reinforce the nature theming. It  gives a 25% attack, defense, and breath-resist boost. Superseded by oomph, buff, and insulate, but stacks with kabuff. Call of the wild would work exactly as Wolf Whistle does in IX, just substituting Agility for Deftness and using an animal appropriate to where ever it's used instead of forest doggos all the time.

The HP boost is due to a healthy lifestyle of living outdoors, which also accounts for Wisdom: you can't live in the wild for long if you're stupid.


 

Anyways these are just some ideas I spitballed around, and any feedback is welcomed.

Edited by Burner
Bad formatting

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While we're talking of modding DQ6... I'd love to hear the original SFC music sequences and samples inserted into the DS version. The instrument set used in the remake sounds rather bland and Happy Humming took a huge dive with the synth voice and "billiards percussion" (for lack of a better term) removed. That and Eternal Lullaby is nowhere near as epic sounding in the remake.

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On 4/14/2019 at 11:29 PM, Erdrick The Hero said:

While we're talking of modding DQ6... I'd love to hear the original SFC music sequences and samples inserted into the DS version. The instrument set used in the remake sounds rather bland and Happy Humming took a huge dive with the synth voice and "billiards percussion" (for lack of a better term) removed. That and Eternal Lullaby is nowhere near as epic sounding in the remake.

That'd be the easiest change to implement; the ds' sound hardware is fully capable of mimicking the snes so it's just a matter of sitting down and making it happen. On the subject of music, I personally wouldn't mind a slight remix of the regular battle theme's opening to make it a bit more quick and intense.

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