1. #1

    Final Fantasy and "Overcustomization"

    Anyone else get this vibe with some of the new Final Fantasys (since PS1 era) where it seems there is too MUCH character customization

    Maybe it's just me but I actually really dislike the battle system in FF7, 8, 10, and 13 simply because the characters are almost like faceless dolls....They have almost no defining features other than their limit breaks and to me it seems to give a hit in their story for example in 9 Zidane and Freya are agile their stats reflect this as such and so does the story where Zidane and Freya can climb a really high wall later in the game Vivi and Quina cannot and have to find their way around

    But however the thing that ticks me off the most is end game where if you work at it..everyone could do absolutely everything and it's just kinda bleh

    I mean horray Squall is an all powerful warrior mage healer with perfect speed and is almost exactly like Sephie in every way except Squall has access to LIONHEART

    or that Lulu the mage of FF10 has no reason to use said magic because she can spam quick hit over and over again for way more damage but why would you use Lulu late game anyway when Wakka and Rikku can do it too but have actually decent overdrives!

  2. #2
    No, because it allows you to take characters you like for who they are, not for the class specific skills they bring. What most of the newer Final Fantasy games do well is that they put most characters in a specific role at the onset, and then you can direct the characters in the direction you want as it suits you and your playstyle.

    Works far better since it allows you actually interact more with the characters you actually want to get to know better, and spend time with because you like their personality/storylines.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Yuanrang View Post
    No, because it allows you to take characters you like for who they are, not for the class specific skills they bring. What most of the newer Final Fantasy games do well is that they put most characters in a specific role at the onset, and then you can direct the characters in the direction you want as it suits you and your playstyle.

    Works far better since it allows you actually interact more with the characters you actually want to get to know better, and spend time with because you like their personality/storylines.
    Plus its fun making the big black man into a white mage and Aerith into your ungodly staff wielding brute.

  4. #4
    Herald of the Titans Valyrian Stormclaw's Avatar
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    The idea was to give players more flexibility in crafting their character builds rather than just making it a "You get three paths for this character and ten points, invest wisely". While I do appreciate the customization, I have to concur that the ability to just turn brutes into mage wielders and puny girls into ass-kickers wasn't all that well thought out.

    FF12 solved this problem by giving a significant boost to the certain stats of their characters; Basch is weak as a mage or ranged character but is excellent as a warrior-paladin. Ashe is a great melee-support, and Vaan is your primary DPS boost with ninja attacks. Fran was typically just a pure range character, wielding a bow/gun and using magic in between. Baltheir wasn't too good at the gun he got at the start of the game, but if you spec him right he just goes insane with the crits. And since when was Penelo ever used other then healing?
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Valyrian Stormclaw View Post
    FF12 solved this problem by giving a significant boost to the certain stats of their characters; Basch is weak as a mage or ranged character but is excellent as a warrior-paladin. Ashe is a great melee-support, and Vaan is your primary DPS boost with ninja attacks. Fran was typically just a pure range character, wielding a bow/gun and using magic in between. Baltheir wasn't too good at the gun he got at the start of the game, but if you spec him right he just goes insane with the crits. And since when was Penelo ever used other then healing?
    Which is not any different from Limit Breaks, Trance stats or Overdrives, the individual differences come in different packages. FF12 went the pure statistic route, while a game such as Final Fantasy 9 was more obvious and visual based.

    Regardless of how you see it, the differences are miniscule if you start drawing a comparison to a game such as Final Fantasy 6 where skills were fairly gated on which character you used in your party. Sabin is the only character with Blitz and Setzer is the only character with Slot, and that does change up how your party functions.

  6. #6
    Dreadlord Teroseth's Avatar
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    *shrugs* As others have pointed out isn't that kind of the point? If you like a character (whether for their attitude, story involvement or just plain looks/style) isn't it better to be able to use them however you like rather than being forced into using a party member you don't like just because s/he's a tank or mage or whatever? "The fights in this area needs a magic user, guess that means you're stuck with Rinoa for now". It's bad enough that the games split the party as much as they do but it'd be even worse if you were lumbered with an annoying party member (especially in today's RPGs, where they just won't shut up when in combat) because reasons.

    I liked that the characters stats and builds could be customised. Taking FF8 as an example again (I'm going through it again so it's on my mind atm) There's just something about making Selphie, the goofy pixie girl who sings about trains, into an indestructible tank of a character who just plows through everything.
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  7. #7
    The limit break thing however was make it or break it

    just taking FF7 as an example with the exception of 1 everyone's did damage (Aeris doesn't count for end game)
    so we go in to see how MUCH damage they all can do with max stats it goes like this

    1. Cid and Barret with Highwind and Ungermax respectivly doing 18 hits
    2. Cloud and Yuffie with 17 using Omnislash/Doom of the Living
    3. Cait Sith if he happens to get bar/bar/bar and that HAPPENS to summon KOTR
    4. Red 13's Stardust rain hits 10 times
    5. Tifa can hit 7 times
    6. Vincent's Hellmasker has the chance to do Splatter Combo which does 4 hits ...but then has the chance to do the other move which on most bosses does NOTHING and you have no control of the character

    So there is a clear power ranking in characters.....Vincent however being a weird exception that all though he has the WORST limit break he is one of only 2 characters that can perform the damage overflow glitch but that is through the use of a glitch
    Last edited by Mysterymask; 2014-07-20 at 01:50 AM.

  8. #8
    I love the customization and how everyone can access magic yet keep their unique skills. It's all in the execution. I liked magicite, materia, gf, but hated equipping sub-level weapons to learn skills in 9, and that only select toons could summon in 9 & 10.
    Last edited by dextersmith; 2014-07-20 at 02:14 AM.

  9. #9
    the major problem though was the way it all turned out...for the most part in 7, 8, and X using Magic was worthless as high speed and high attack usually won out in the end simply by mechanics
    In FF8 you were almost discouraged from using magic because that just dropped your stats...I mean "Yay Ultima maxxed out my Magic stat but using the damned thing lowers it!" Hell why would I use it in the first place when casting Aura on Squall and spamming Lionheart or doing the ultimate Hell Combo with Zell outclasses any spell you can cast period.
    Yes in 9 only Vivi could use Black Magic but that just made it actually useful through out the entire game The game actively ENCOURAGED you to use Vivi's magic because you couldn't shoot up his strength stat and even if you did you couldn't raise it to a point to make it actually useful to attack...

    in FFX Lulu completely loses her usefulness the second you get to the Thunder Plains and you can attack through any magic barriers and white magic outside of Haste was just worthless...and even that becomes pretty worthless after some grinding. As for the Aeon's in 10 after a little while they become only useful to block spells as their Overdrives usually ended up killing them (with a seriously atrocious recovery time) or many of the bosses had an ability to one shot them anyway (Seymore, Yunalesca, Penance, just to name a few)

    You know how to beat the hardest boss in FFX? Spam Quick Attack and using Wakka's Attack Reels every so often to kill the arms and you use Rikku simply because her Overdrive allowed her to cast every buff you could ever need in a single turn plus continue to keep up said buff for pretty much ever ...then your just still spamming quick hit Tidus is spamming quick hit and assisting Wakka by using Slice and Dice. Auron's useless since Tornado has terrible recovery and Banishing Blade doesn't work on him, Kimiari can only wish he can do what Rikku can do, Yuna might be able to block a spell from him but that's about it plus he can one shot Aeon's so having one out for longer than a turn is wishful thinking and none of Lulu's Overdrives really hold a candle to Wakka and Tidus's Damage and Recovery

  10. #10
    Herald of the Titans Humbugged's Avatar
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    I think 8 was the best for customization tbh, with the drawing and binding magic to stats.
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  11. #11
    Bloodsail Admiral Caesius Baelthar's Avatar
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    I don't see an issue with offering a lot of choice. I enjoyed all of the main Final Fantasy titles aside from 13. There is absolutely nothing stopping individual players from setting their own challenges and building a character to their tastes without investing in every single ability or skill point that they can acquire.

  12. #12
    During normal playthrough Lulu ain't gonna pwn enemies with Quick Hit - characters will be able to max only couple sphere zones, Lulu's zone has no Str, so her Quick Hit will be very weak in comparison to characters who has gone, e. g. through Tidus and Auron zones. You aren't going to encounter Sin with fully filled Sphere Grid on first playthrough - just ain't gonna to happen.

    What concerns building characters up - why not? You spend time doing this, characters are expected to grow stronger, and with proper customization - they should be able to become stronger in any stat if you wish it so.

    It is the other games which fail in this aspect, trying to limit you in all possible ways. I remember I stopped my BG1's playthrough when got message "You can have only 1 magic item equipped" which was just pinnacle of neverending limits to character progression in that game.
    Quote Originally Posted by Valyrian Stormclaw View Post
    The idea was to give players more flexibility in crafting their character builds rather than just making it a "You get three paths for this character and ten points, invest wisely".
    Some games liked to use 2nd approach in the way "You get ten points, but you need twenty points to max your main class stat or to make proper non-hybrid build".
    FF12 solved this problem by giving a significant boost to the certain stats of their characters; Basch is weak as a mage or ranged character but is excellent as a warrior-paladin. Ashe is a great melee-support, and Vaan is your primary DPS boost with ninja attacks. Fran was typically just a pure range character, wielding a bow/gun and using magic in between. Baltheir wasn't too good at the gun he got at the start of the game, but if you spec him right he just goes insane with the crits. And since when was Penelo ever used other then healing?
    From min/max point of view every character except Vaan, Balthier and Fran are not really wanted. You get other characters quite later at the game (Penelo's stats at start of the game are not her "real" stats), so they get submediocre HP/MP rolls. Difference in other base stats isn't that much crucial as HP/MP difference. You could make characters good all around in FF XII, just like in FF X. If you meant FF XII-ZJS version (Zodiak Job System), then I could agree. But imo there was nothing good about that version outside of removing damage cap (9999 was really low for many endgame enemies...).
    Quote Originally Posted by Mysterymask
    in FFX Lulu completely loses her usefulness the second you get to the Thunder Plains and you can attack through any magic barriers and white magic outside of Haste was just worthless...
    That was if you decided to take Auron with you (I - never, I didn't really like Auron much). White Magic was also useful throughout the game - Esuna to remove various status effect, Cure line of spells, Holy is quite a powerful nuke, NulSpells are great for low "level" challenges", etc. In fact, Thunder Plains introduced much harder hitting mobs than in area before with much more HP, so you wanted to get rid of them fast (-ra/-ga spells) and have means to recover HP.

    But yet again, of course you could just spam physical attacks in Thunder Plains if you were strong enough. That's "+" of these games, one of the reasons why people like them - ability to make characters grow more powerful in time and change battle approaches accordingly.

  13. #13
    The Lightbringer Rukh's Avatar
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    I don't think it's really overcustomization. If everyone can do everything, you're actually losing interesting choices of combinations, because it stops mattering who you choose. I do agree it is less fun though. Something like FF Tactics where you have a lot of classes to mix and match and find neat combos are a lot more fun.
    Still bitter.

  14. #14
    Brewmaster Yggdrasil's Avatar
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    In my personal opinion Final Fantasy just became running though a tunnel after 9 (i think that was the # anyway). Which turned me off far further than the ability systems. Not to mention this "to work on them" to get everyone to do everything required a ton of grinding and such which is mostly unnecessary to actually beat the games. So if you mindlessly grind your way though the point of more or less breaking over the skill systems you should I guess get rewarded for it in some way.

    Don't get me wrong though I kind of enjoyed it more when Cecil was just a Dark Knight that became a Paladin and his abilities were based around class. But that has a lot more from me enjoying the exploration and story of Final Fantasy games more than I do combat systems and control. Others might not see it the same way which is fine. I will just replay the classics.

  15. #15
    FF9 and FF6 were the best Final Fantasys.

    Basicly said, what a Chracter is able to do or is not able to do is part of what defines him. Every Character in Final Fantasy 9 was unique (granted, Garnet and Eiko where very similiar but still had noteworthy differences), making which one to chose for your party a meaningful decision.

    Same goes for Final Fantasy 6, almost every character was able to learn magic later, but every character was defined by his speciality.

    Compare that to a game like FF12, where in the end every character was the same except for some small differences. Their Myst Attack thingys looked different but they all did the same in the end.

    The only thing differating Characters in Final Fantasy X where the Limit Breaks. For some that may be enough, for me it isn't.

  16. #16
    People tend to forget that it is not "customization" but development and progress of character. How it goes:
    1. What could make my black mage more interesting and powerful to play? Ability to heal!
    2. What would make my white mage more interesting and powerful to play? Ability to do great physical damage!
    Hence why it is loved, because game allows you to achieve this with some effort.

    But as I pointed before - you don't start with all characters with full sphere grids/license boards/spells/gear. Nor do you have it by the final (story) boss - characters are still quite "differentiated". OP characters are result of time investment in powering them up - and such feature is very loved and welcomed in CRPGs. It adds to replayability (which means not starting from start, but simply having things to do and earn) and freedom.

    Various hard caps and limits on everything possible, even if it doesn't make sense at all - that is what actually game-breaking. BG1 is one of worst offenders, just for example of double-capping with some salt on top:
    1. If you have low Str, you can carry only couple of items, even though you have couple dozens of item slots.
    2. If you have high Str, you can carry only whatever will fit in item slots, even if you practically can carry much more.
    3. Just to piss player even more - arrows stack only to 20, potions - to 5 (?), and Iron Taint (or how was it called) meant you had to carry additional weapons with you or save-scum a lot.
    4. Comes out of 3 - option to pause on broken weapon is "off" by default. Which means on very first walkthrough you might save with broken weapons and don't notice that until next fight.
    5. Oh yeah, you can't safely recheck weapons during fight - original BG1 didn't allow you to pause while on inventory screen.
    Issues just grow from here into other ridiculous issues.

    I think a lot of people got their ideas of how game should work from BG+ games, though in fact same BG1 is a great example of how to NOT make CRPG. Including complete absence of character customization and progress outside of praying to RNG on beginning of game.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skulljin
    FF9 and FF6 were the best Final Fantasys.

    Basicly said, what a Chracter is able to do or is not able to do is part of what defines him.
    FF6 had pure ATB. Which means - casting spells costs valuable time, and "Attack" is quite fast. Damage cap was easily reachable for "Attack", all characters had less or more same HP and survival (which could be fixed by Espers). Result? All characters play the same - spamming "Attack" and healing when needed (healing items weren't hard to find, and you could learn some healing spells from Espers). I am not saying that this necessarily makes game bad, but it simply shows that FF6 also didn't have character "differentiation" according to OP's description.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Mysterymask View Post

    in FFX Lulu completely loses her usefulness the second you get to the Thunder Plains and you can attack through any magic barriers and white magic outside of Haste was just worthless...and even that becomes pretty worthless after some grinding. As for the Aeon's in 10 after a little while they become only useful to block spells as their Overdrives usually ended up killing them (with a seriously atrocious recovery time) or many of the bosses had an ability to one shot them anyway (Seymore, Yunalesca, Penance, just to name a few)
    Just playing through game normally without over grinding, Lulu is far from useless. Holy learned on both Lulu and Yuna = 10 round Yunalesca battle. On the final fight Slowga on the adds and spam ultima on both Yuna and Lulu. None of these strats require doing any side crap or grinding and will win the game for you.

    Game isn't hard anyways. X is by far the easiest game in the series. Doing the side crap at the end is even more of a joke then playing through the story normally as all it takes is grinding. The super bosses in the game are pretty lame.
    Last edited by Tech614; 2014-07-20 at 01:55 PM.

  18. #18
    Moderator Pendulous's Avatar
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    Maybe in 12, but not really. 9 had no customization, and 10's was basically end-game stuff. 7 had materia, true, but that's about it. The problem with overcustomization exists in FF12, where your characters are so vague, there isn't any point in having a specific one. Everybody gets the same license board, and whatever tiny differences in stats made no actual difference. I still contend that Grandia 2 did it the best. You had plenty of customization by giving different characters different eggs and skills, but they each had their own identity when it came to gameplay. Each one specialized in a specific element, and you still had the abilities that gave them each a sense of uniqueness. None of the Final Fantasy games that I've played can seem to find that balance.

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