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Pre_PHD_Lee 1 month ago#61
Sounds like you're saying that beege_man is technically not wrong in his statement, but that the truthfulness of it is trivial compared to the normal random factor.
May someday resume the quest for higher education, or else change my name here. Won't stop playing games either way.
Pretty much. It's technically true that it has a very minor impact, and I haven't done the math on it, but rough calculations suggest it doesn't appear to be statistically noteworthy enough to really be worth worrying about who's in the lead or stat maxing.

It'd have been really neat if character stats actually had a noteworthy impact, or if all characters in the party had their stats factored in (depending on slot perhaps). Can you imagine a party of 4 Ninjas that almost never gets ambushed and regularly gets preemptive encounters? That would have been neat!
Jay_Shaw 1 month ago#63
CranberryPSO - Congratulations on getting through the Ice Cave and Waterfall Cave with relatively little difficulty (sounds like your historical luck with the Ice Cave held up for this run).

beege_man / DiamondDragon / BareknuckleRoo - Thanks for the information about the duplicate chests! I had no idea that was something which existed in this game. The map of the Marsh Cave beege_man linked to was really illuminating - some of those chests have three potential locations! I recall encountering a lot of empty chests during playthroughs of this game, but I had no idea that they would actually contain items if I had skipped earlier chests in the same dungeon....

beege_man 1 month ago#64
While I'll agree that the effect of the party leader's stats is small and its very unfortunate that divide by 8 is in the formula, I don't think an average of 4/100 difference at mid-level is "insignificant". You fight enough random battles that having 4% fewer ambushes can be helpful depending on your challenge. It could be the difference between surviving an Ice Cave run or not. And it's a bigger effect if you stat max, so knowing that those two stats can contribute to this is helpful. Saying character stats are "worthless" for preventing ambushes is simply not true and is exaggeration. Getting up to a possible 15% bonus to something is a pretty decent bonus. No one would turn down a 15% bonus to their damage or say thats insignificant.
L44 482/482 9/9/9/8/8/8/8/7 Int/MDef: 58/106
HDCEA: 116-111-106/51-53-46/3-4-6.5/83/43(37) Resist: Ice/(Fire)/(Lit)/Death AtkElem: Ice-Fire-Coral
beege_man posted...
And it's a bigger effect if you stat max

Stat maxing is a ridiculous pain in the ass; I will never ever suggest anyone do it for the sake of their sanity. You might as well just hack their stats to the max and spare your life the wasted time. More importantly, "Bigger" doesn't mean "noteworthy" anyways, as you'll see later.

I'm guessing your party members have gotten rather unlucky in those stats and aren't the greatest at them to start with.

Cranberry is at level 18. Assuming stat maxing the most you're getting is an extra 4 initiative points (1 initiative point every 4 levels with stat maxing). Given how the formula is extremely affected by the random roll and the surprise factor by comparison, and with how low everyone's starting initiative is, and how little the Thief differs from other classes until much, much later in the game, it is insignificant. It's certainly no reason to take a Thief over a Fighter to lead the party for example.

I said rough calculations because I couldn't be bothered to do the full math to get hard numbers for something that looked trivially important, but since you insist on arguing this point with me...

The magic number we're looking for is 11. 11 or higher avoids an ambush. Preemptives are nice but to simplify my calculations I'll only be looking at whether a fight is an ambush or not.

Thief at level 1 (3 initiative) vs SF 33 group:

3 + (3 to 100) - 33 = Needs a roll of 41 or higher to avoid ambush to get an 11. You have 97 possible outcomes on the random roll (100-3) and 57 of those are a success (40-97). This means you have 57/97 chances or 58.8% of not getting ambushed.

Thief at level 25 (8 initiative on average) vs SF 33 group:

8 + (8 to 100) - 33 = Needs a roll of 36 or higher to avoid ambush (57/92 or 61.9% chance of not getting ambushed).

Compare this number to the above. We're over halfway through the game for most teams and your odds are only 3.1% better of not getting ambushed.

Thief at level 50 (14 initiative? I assume 13.75 gets rounded up) vs SF 33 group:

13.75 + (13.75 to 100) - 33 = Needs to roll a 30 or higher to avoid ambush. 57/86 or 66.3% chance of not getting ambushed.

And remember, Thief doesn't benefit much from stat maxing for Initiative as it is anyways. With average stats at level 50, he only gets a 7.5% higher chance of not getting ambushed compared to level 1! This is absolute garbage. The formula sucks and is why it should not factor into your battle formation strategies. Levelling has a negligible impact on your running chance.

Also, Surprise Factor affects the formula linearly, so the Initiative bonus from Agi and Luck scales up just as bad on SF 4 enemies as it does on the two SF 75 enemies. Here's further chances of avoiding an ambush:

Thief at L1 / 25 / 50 against SF 4 enemies:

88.7% / 93.5% / 100% (you eventually get 100% no ambush... at a level where you can steamroll most encounters, great :/ )

and SF 75 enemies:

15.5% / 16.3 % / 17.4 % (ahahahahahaha what, you only get 1.9% better chances at level 50?!)

And here's the White Mage's chances to avoid an ambush at L1 / 25 / 50.

SF 4 enemies: 86.9% / 90.5% / 93.5%
SF 33 enemies: 57.6% / 60.0% / 62.0%
SF 75 enemies: 15.2% / 15.8% / 16.3%

Spoiler alert: these numbers aren't noteworthy in difference compared to the Thief except for Thief getting 0 ambushes near max level on the easiest SF groups. It's especially bad on the high SF 75 Mage & WarMech groups where their chances differ by a percentage point (maybe a couple with stat maxing). Hardly worth worrying about.


To reiterate what I said before, class and level have a negligible impact on ambush chances due to the formula. They cannot be affected in a significant way and are absolutely not worth worrying about. Taking a Thief or stat maxing specifically in order to manipulate this is a waste of time.

You fight enough random battles that having 4% fewer ambushes can be helpful depending on your challenge.

Getting up to a possible 15% bonus to something is a pretty decent bonus. No one would turn down a 15% bonus to their damage or say thats insignificant.

You don't even get a 4% bonus to your ambush reduction by the time most classes reach the level you'd normally be at for the Ice Cave, the formula's that bad. And that's regardless of if you're a Thief or a WM! As it turns out, 15% is an incredibly generous assumption. Even Thief naturally maxes one of his stats, and never hits a 10% bonus over his L1 chances even at the level cap (lol). I think you might just barely get a 2.5% bonus over a Thief's normal level 50 average if you stat max a Thief's Agi, and that's only on SF 4 groups. It'd be a bit better for the other classes if you stat maxed... but you're looking at maybe a 5 to 10% bonus over your average, and that's at level 50.

Again, there's no reason to worry about maximizing your initiative bonus, it's a waste of time and effort.
(edited 1 month ago)
tl;dr: Sorry beege, the formula really is shockingly bad. It's not like the early SaGa games where having a Mutant or Monster along with Warning and Surprise is super handy for 0 ambushes + chances to surprise enemies, and it's a darn shame because if Initiative worked better in a way that favored the Thief it would've been a legitimate potential point of distinction for the Thief. As it is though, the Thief isn't much better than any other class, and stat maxing Agility and Luck for other classes will only barely improve your anti-ambush chances over the course of the game.
beege_man 1 month ago#67
I understand the math and I completely agree the formula is garbage, no one said otherwise. The only thing we disagree on is whether a 3-4% improvement in something counts as having a worthwhile effect. Me personally, I think it's worth mentioning to someone who is complaining about their party constantly getting ambushed and who is considering doing a No Ambush challenge. Is the effect minor? Absolutely. But it is still an effect that can be taken advantage of in certain circumstances.

You obviously disagree that it's a worthwhile effect whatsoever, and that's fine. Neither of us is going to change the other's opinion on this point.
L44 482/482 9/9/9/8/8/8/8/7 Int/MDef: 58/106
HDCEA: 116-111-106/51-53-46/3-4-6.5/83/43(37) Resist: Ice/(Fire)/(Lit)/Death AtkElem: Ice-Fire-Coral
(edited 1 month ago)
a No Ambush challenge


Whether or not you get ambushed is a matter of RNG and pretty much entirely out of the player's control under normal circumstances (i.e. no tool assistance). I don't understand how or why you'd craft a "challenge" around something the player cannot influence in a meaningful way.

The only thing we disagree on is whether a 3-4% improvement in something counts as having a worthwhile effect.

It's important to be clear here: we are talking about stat maxing (an enormously time consuming and tedious effort) in order to get an extra 3-4% by the time you're at a level 25, which is nearing the end of the game for a decent team. That's a huge caveat. And this measly bonus only applies to "normal" random encounters; fixed encounter tiles or unrunnable encounter groups can't result in ambushes or preemptive fights, so stat maxing for Initiative won't ever impact them.

CranberryPSO 1 month ago#69
I didn't mean for this challenge to turn into a fight. I conceived the "No Ambush" challenge because I was trying to think of an original challenge that hasn't been done yet. Everything else I thought of has already been done. So I had to turn to the truly absurd to find something that hasn't already been done before.

Well, here we go, heading to the Sunken Shrine. We're way underleveled for this, aren't we? Why am I doing this?

As all semblance of reason and logic left my body, we took the plunge and go down to the sunken shrine. We're greeted by 9 Sahags. A lot of them, but nothing too bad.

Things went well until we got wiped by 3 Water that were far stronger than I expected. I'm not too upset about it as I wanted to go to the Mermaids area but made a wrong turn.

Round 2:
Apple and Orange to level 18. The sharks are really no big issue down here.

Mage staff to Cranberry. Not exactly intended, I'm using the old Nintendo Power guide and it has this chest miss-labled as the Light Axe, but it's actually the Mage Staff. In a normal play-through, this would be a slight inconvenience. The chests are both on this floor, the guide just has the position wrong. In this challenge and this challenge only its a little bit more of an issue since unless I die the wrong character now permanently has the wrong item. But so be it, I made sure that Apple got the Axe I meant for Cranberry to have. Well we continue on and I make it to the mermaid floor. Grab all the treasures there, SLAB included and head back to Onrac. Pear to 18.

Curiously Onrac has no weapon or armor shop. Hike back to the Airship so I can unload the armor pieces at another town. Ends up being Melmond, which is perfect as I can put the new SLAB to use. We head to Lefein to get the CHIME and check the level 8 magic. Life2. No good for Orange so we head back to the airship. Orange dies on the way but we make it and go to a town to revive him.

More to come later.

Best quest to fight tons of Canadians really fast? ~HaienLai
Topics won: 8
Jay_Shaw 1 month ago#70
Sounds like a decent start to the Sunken Shrine (not to mention getting through the hike to and back from Lefein), CranberryPSO - good luck with the part of the Shrine that involves actually taking on Kraken!

By the way, during my last playthrough of my game, I just printed out the maps at Mike's RPG center and referred to those as I was navigating through the game's dungeons (as far as I can recall, these maps are completely accurate)...

(edited 1 month ago)
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