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Thread: The Zodiac Age

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    The Zodiac Age

    I picked up a PS4 finally, along with Star Wars Battlefront II and FFXII: The Zodiac Age. Might also get the Mega Man collection and the Star Ocean game later also, but anyway: Anybody play this yet? I went through most of the main game speed-running it before I realized you only have to beat Trial Mode to unlock Weak Mode, so I then just grabbed the best gear I could and went straight to Trial Mode. Very disappointing. I expected Trial Mode to be more of a 'trial' and a challenge you can play through from LV1 but it doesn't work like that unfortunately; it's kind of a joke to be honest. I had 2 deaths on the final stage, but that battle is more cheap than challenging.

    The way I see FFXII is thus:
    -If you play through the game casually the game is terrible. It doesn't matter what you do or how you set up anything. All the enemies and bosses just give up and you never even have to press any buttons. There's no thought process required to play and in the future trained chickens will be able to beat it. (As soon as @James24 gets here I'm sure he'll agree with me that this game is the penultimate Type A game ever created by a AAA studio.)
    -If you play this without gaining levels, not using OP abilities, or doing any grinding whatsoever, then the game really becomes truly great - by far much more interesting and superior than any other FF game IMHO. There are a ton of great gameplay mechanics that were overshadowed just because the game was so easy none of it mattered. The idea is simple: By greatly nerfing your party, the game goes from steaming crap-pile to hidden treasure. :)

    Anyway, back on topic. Got Weak Mode unlocked so I was trying to figure out a good way to play. Last time I played this game all the way through was in 2010. I did a run around 2013 where I tried (let's see if I can get this right) a LLGCNQNGNGNITNUE run (LLG, No: Quickenings/Espers/Grinding/Glitch/Cheating/ Farming/Ultimate Equipment, Class Restricted, challenge) but died about halfway through after I ran out of money, items, LP, and had mostly terrible equipment. It was a fun try though! However in TZA this could never happen as the beginning of the game is much easier. So.. anyone play Weak Mode on this version yet? It seems like they made this version even easier, so was wondering just how much of a restriction would be needed. Even threw together some quick c++ code to try and generate a unique party:

    Code:
    struct CClasses
    {
    	const char* name;
    	int w;
    };
    
    CClasses classes[12] =
    {
    	{ "Machinist",   2 }, // OP-Tier (LLG)
    	{ "Shikari",     2 }, //
    	{ "White Mage",  3 }, // A-Tier
    	{ "Black Mage",  3 }, //
    	{ "Red Mage",    4 }, //
    	{ "Knight",      4 }, // B-Tier
    	{ "Bushi",       4 }, // C-Tier
    	{ "Archer",      4 }, //
    	{ "Uhlan",       4 }, //
    	{ "Monk",        4 }, //
    	{ "Time Mage",	 3 }, // 
    	{ "Breaker",     2 }  // Crap
    };
    
    
    struct FFXII_LLG
    {
    	int maxClasses;
    	RandomGenerator random;
    
    	FFXII_LLG()
    	{
    		maxClasses = ARRAY_SIZE(classes);
    		random.Seed(int(TimeStamp::GetCurrent()) * 'I' * 'Z' * 'J' * 'S');
    	}
    
    	int GetRandomNumber(int lo, int hi)
    	{
    		return random.Int(lo, hi);
    	}
    
    	void GenerateList()
    	{
    		int totalChance = 0;
    		RandomShuffle(classes, maxClasses);
    
    		for(int i(0); i < maxClasses; ++i)
    			totalChance += classes[i].w;
    
    		for(int j(0); j < 6; )
    		{
    			int r = GetRandomNumber(0, totalChance);
    			int r2 = 0;
    
    			for(int i(0); i < maxClasses; ++i)
    			{
    				r2 += classes[i].w;
    				if(r < r2)
    				{
    					Log("%02i, %s", classes[i].w, classes[i].name); //Output the character
    
    					Swap(classes[i], classes[--maxClasses]);
    					--i;
    					++j;
    					totalChance -= r2;
    
    					break;
    				}
    			}
    		}
    	}
    };
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  2. #2
    Its your boi, Guzma! mrz84's Avatar
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    I played the original release on PS2, getting as far as right before the end boss and wanting to get all the side quests/etc before my memory card got total; wiped. As in I couldn't use it again. Ever. Don't kno how/why it happened to this day, but it discouraged me from just getting a new one for fear of doing it again (plus since it was a total wipe, all of my other game save, totaling to about 1000+ hours of total game time kinda heavily contributed to the discouragin part)

    After hearing of its PS4 remaster, its been on my to-buy-eventually list (somehwere in the top 5, but not at the top). I'd normally say feel free to add me on PS4, but after having randoms on Fortnite bombard me with friend requests with the message "you have awesome guns and stuff, can we be friends" (or something similar that put an emphasis on what come off as wanting to be carried instead of putting in actual effort) I set my setting to only others on the Friend List of my Friends can send them so, if ya wanna be PS4 buddies lemme know and I'll add ya.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrz84 View Post
    I played the original release on PS2, getting as far as right before the end boss and wanting to get all the side quests/etc before my memory card got total; wiped. As in I couldn't use it again. Ever. Don't kno how/why it happened to this day, but it discouraged me from just getting a new one for fear of doing it again (plus since it was a total wipe, all of my other game save, totaling to about 1000+ hours of total game time kinda heavily contributed to the discouragin part)
    .
    I'd say the PS4 version is by far the best one. Vanilla had the terrible license board and chest nonsense, and IZJS had a few silly classes in weak mode (more on this later). I'm loving the 2x speed though. With the slow walking speed annoyance gone the game is so much better.

    As far as losing your progress it actually doesn't matter. All the jobs and items/spells/etc. are different. I guess I could write up a quick "How to beat Trial Mode quickly and unlock Weak Mode FAQ" if anyone wants.Weak Mode is so much better.

    Anyway, I started a NG- with the following generated jobs:
    Monk
    Red Mage
    Black Mage
    Knight
    Time Mage
    Machinist

    I did it a few times until I got Time Mage and Monk, because I wasn't 100% sure about these jobs. After the fact I can now say that Time Mage in Weak Mode is practically useless, and Monk is just terrible. I've redone the Tier list to what I believe is the most accurate:

    - Shikari
    - Machinist
    - White Mage
    - Red Mage
    - Black Mage
    - Knight
    -----------------------------
    - Archer
    - Uhlan
    - Monk
    - Breaker
    - Bushi
    - Time Mage

    Shikari is the best job for synergy (Machinist is not OP as a job per-se, it's the guns that make it top-tier), and can also equip the best guns and ninja swords + protectga/shellga. Also the best tank in the game.
    White Mage in Weak Mode is just a monster, and Red/Black Mage will be your strongest damage dealers.
    Knight is very good all around so this is our basis for comparison.
    Archer and Uhlan are both good, yet less useful and less often than the top-tiers.
    The remaining four are less good. Monk and Breaker have some uses as they can tank, but Bushi and Time Mage are practically useless.
    Bushi: Gets MP and MAG but no spells. Without end-game gear they are crap for a LLG.
    Time Mage: No HP and no MP from Mystic armor means they can't cast many spells. No MAG means the spells will always miss.... No HP also means balance is useless. What's worse is that Time Magic as a whole is better used as items, meaning that any job other than a Time Mage can cast Time Magic better! Yes, there is no redeeming factor unfortunately.

    So, this puts the best Party as the top 6 jobs, and the worst as the bottom 6 jobs:

    I'm actually trying to re-balance some of the best and worst of them right now, if anyone has any suggestions. Here's what I have so far:


    - Shikari (Shikari no spells/ninja swords)
    - Shinobi (Shikari no shields/shield lores/guns)
    - Machinist
    - White Mage
    - Red Mage
    - Black Mage
    - Knight
    - Archer
    - Uhlan
    - Monk
    - Breaker
    - Judge (Breaker + weapons from another job)
    - Bushi
    - Time Cop (Time Mage/[Bushi w/ HP Lore 6,8 + Mystic Armor])
    - Time Mage

    *Note: In TZA each character can have 2 jobs.
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  4. #4
    Its your boi, Guzma! mrz84's Avatar
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    I've been meaning to look into the differences between the PS2 and PS4 versions. I knew the board system got revamped into the job system, just not what each job had available outside of what their obvious job name described (ie: white mage = HEAL/BUFF ALL THE THINGS)

    My main gripe about my original data loss is that I had obtained 2 Zodiac spears (ne from the chest that was a pain to keep track of and one as a super rare drop from a late-game enemy). Kinda hope the chest thingy is gone, but kept the Zodiac Spear there, but I wouldn't be mad or anything if they removed the whole thing.
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    The job system is probably the biggest imrovement. Each of the 12 boards has unlockable things as well, and all the jobs in a Normal game are very good by themselves.

    For the super-weapons they added about ten more I think--12 bazaar and 3 invisible--and most chests that have the good items are now 100% spawn chests (one-time only) throughout the game. There are also about 1/3 of all spells and abilities you get through 100% chests so you don't have to worry about gil as much. The chests in the game actually give you decent gear now so it's possible to never actually buy any gear (haven't tested this yet though). Also chests respawn as soon as you enter any zone. The Zodiac spear you mentioned is just in a plain chest in the Henne Mines this time around. Also, if you do Hunt Club in IZJS you can just buy a Zodiac Spear/Escutcheon, Ribbon, and about ten other end-game gear.

    So yeah, I don't think you have to farm or spend ridiculous amounts of time stealing super-rare items or other nonsense like in Vanilla (if you wanted to--I never did any of that though). Some late-game chests have a crappy spawn rate though, so it's much better but still not perfect.
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    Its your boi, Guzma! mrz84's Avatar
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    Neat. I was hoping I'd have less grinding to do with this version.

    Picked up the game at wal-mart today, as its now $20 while I was getting a new PS4 controller (the one that came with my PS4 was sticking when pressing left/right on the left analog and none of the cleaning/other fixes were working on it, so I broke down and gotta new one. At least now I have 2 controllers so 2-pkayer still is doable now)
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    Cool. So far I've had to do zero grinding. In fact one of the stipulations of what I'm doing is "no grinding" (or again; LLG, No: Quickenings/Espers/Grinding/Glitch/Cheating/ Farming/Ultimate Equipment, Class Restricted, challenge), but, there's always so much gear in chests that I figure I'll wait until the end and see what I missed. Yeah I picked it up for 20 bucks also. It's a good time for PS4 RPG's I think. Most of 'em are under 20 bucks now. Should keep me busy until Dragon Quest XI comes out. :)

    Started a new LLG where I'm messing around with some offbeat strategies with no Red Mage or guns and kind of centered around time magic:
    Jean Claude Vaan Hammerfist is a half hume, half killbot from the future sent back in time to infiltrate Hunt Club and avenge the murder of his Great-great-great Grandfather. He is Time Cop: Armed with powers of space-time he'll bring the entire planet to Justice! He is Time Cop!
    Balthier is an Archer and Vaan Hammerfist's rookie partner that was formerly a future mall cop. He is secretly employed by Soilent Green Corp. to collect jizz specimens from extant monsters in order to create a super-virus that can turn people into monsters (in the future people eat each-other as there are no other food sources left).
    Fran is a five-star Master Chef. Wielding only a chef's knife and high heels, she slices and dices up monsters (and people) for her desire to create the ultimate dish. "God-dammit I said al-dente! This pasta has a water-weight density of .02 ....I said .03! Do it again, this time with more Slaven Ball juice!" ...Yes chef!

    Together, they are Time Squad. XD ..I just need some back-stories and jobs for the rest and I'll be set.
    Last edited by Gleeok; 04-24-2018 at 12:46 AM.
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  8. #8
    Its your boi, Guzma! mrz84's Avatar
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    Thinking of Balthier as a mall cop makes me only think of the movie Mall Cop...but the main character has Bath's face photoshopped (poorly) onto his head for the entirre movie....Now I can't stop laughing...
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    So, I've done 2 playthroughs on weak mode so far with restrictions:

    -Weak Mode
    -No Ultimate Equipment
    -No Espers
    -No Quickenings
    -No Glitch Exploits/Cheats
    -No LP Farming
    -No Item Farming
    -No Trial Mode
    -Single classes only
    -2x Minimum Speed

    Team 1:
    ~6 Time Mages.

    This is the theoretical worst possible LLG party you can have in TZA, so I decided to give it a go. Turns out this is one of the funnest runs I've done so far. This one definitely requires outside-the-box thinking; every environment you must adapt your strategy. Definitely worth a try if you are the tactician type.

    Team 2:
    Monk
    Red Mage
    Black Mage
    Knight
    Time Mage
    Machinist

    Good all around party with focus on offense. No major weaknesses except light in magic support and healing.
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  10. #10
    Its your boi, Guzma! mrz84's Avatar
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    An idea for a challenge (might not be that challenging but I though I'd share regardless) Warrior of Light Mode. You can only use the jobs from Final Fantasy I (Warrior, White Mage, Black Mage, Red Mage, Monk, Thief) If the job doesn't exist, pick whatever fits it closest (in terms of abilities and useable gear ie: Thief uses mostly light armor and daggers/short swords). The promoted variations of these jobs count as well (Knight, White Wizard, Black Wizard, Red Wizard, Master Monk, and Ninja) using the previous example of Thief, its promoted variation (if looking for a ZA equivilant) would be able to use light armor and equip almost every weapon in the game except weapons such as Excalibur (in FFI that was reserved for the Knight) while being able to use low-mid level black magic (so you would have black mage as the second job for this character) with the best way to represent this character would be either Shinobi/Black Mage or Shikari/Black Mage)

    Another rule is that you can have dupes with jobs (can't remember if that's actually possible in ZA, but its something FFI could do so its an option if its doable) so you could go with a party of Knights with different secondary jobs for example (assuming dupe jobs are possible, if not you can disregard this rule)
    Last edited by mrz84; 07-05-2018 at 07:05 AM. Reason: RAISINS
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