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  3. What's in a challenge? (Cranberry PSO)
_Kaz 1 month ago#1
CranberryPSO posted...
So, "nuzzlock" is just called "hardcore" here eh? I really can't seem to come up with an original challenge can I?
At some point, it's all just varying levels of masochism. (Low level, no running, only running, only FEAR..)

A "no town" challenge (magicians are boned, relying on the 7 houses found in the game to restore magic -- one of them unfairly found at the end of the game) means hours spent travelling back to sea to use Heal Helm and Heal Staff to recover HP.

A "no healing spells/items, only inns" + low-level game is a metric ton of RNG-manipulation/TAS to find which menu choices give you the best dodges.

A "no life/no death/no resetting" Nuzlocke challenge wouldn't be SO bad -- it's very roguelike (which is a fun mesh of turn-based RPG and arcade burst-style of play). But wasn't one advantage of Nuzlocke (low-level or not) the ability to cycle through a dozens of Pokémon? A dead Pidgey who could learn Fly (teleport to town) could be "replaced" by a fly-capable Dodrio down the road (in another region, presuming RNG was kind).

A possible way to equate that for FF1 would be +1 revive for every orb you recover (like going to a new region and finding new Pokémon to catch). Combined with no-running or low-levels or no-class-change to maximize difficulty.
Fighter: "Mr Pibb", "Dr Pepper".. I'm onto you..
Kaz Fact: Welcome to Version 2.0!
CranberryPSO 1 month ago#2
Oh? Is this you requesting me to take on such a challenge? Are you requesting that I give a challenge like this a go?
Best quest to fight tons of Canadians really fast? ~HaienLai
Topics won: 8
_Kaz 1 month ago#3
Just curious what your thoughts were on challenges in general (and I didn't want to derail the other topic).

Also, I don't recall any iron man (no saving) / Nuzlocke (no reviving) challenges for this game.
Fighter: "Mr Pibb", "Dr Pepper".. I'm onto you..
Kaz Fact: Welcome to Version 2.0!
(edited 1 month ago)
No revival challenges for this game are usualy called 'Hardcore' challenges (like a similar game mode in Diablo). Several have been done some even managed to complete the game.
"If you were looking for the Staff of Thunder you're in the wrong town, planet, and game."
~Well Inscription - Star Ocean 4
beege_man 1 month ago#5
Here's a listing of most of the hardcores that have been done over the years:
https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/522595-final-fantasy?search=hardcore
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
There have been many good and many bad challenges (in my opinion of course) over the years here. It really depends on the person playing and what he or she is looking for.

Some challenges go too far in the masochistic realm for me and end up being nothing more than a grind-fest followed by large amounts of time and patience waiting for the RNG to tell you that you've won. I felt this when I did the Solo Thief challenge and fought Astos over and over. I finally won and was like... yay, but, I didn't really do anything different when I won compared to when I lost those 30 or 50 attempts. So this kind of thing is very unsatisfying for me, but some people like it. Perhaps it's the bragging rights thing, "I beat the game with without x and never used y, etc."

Hardcore runs are pretty fun. They are not overly time-consuming. They don't get monotonous, because every battle has the potential to turn south quickly. One ogre gets a critical hit on your black mage and suddenly it's panic time. I like that the enemies that used to scare me as a kid (Sorcerers, Mages, etc.) are now very frightening again. In a regular playthrough nowadays, I die by Sorcerers ambushing me and I just find it annoying that I have to reload my save, but as a kid (and now during a hardcore) I saw Sorcerers and got excited/anxious and immediately start weighing all my options for how to handle the situation. Others have commented that Hardcore runs are nothing more than over-level until you have a chance to get lucky through the Ice Cave, so I can see why some don't care for it.

I think some of the best challenges have been things that get you to use strategies you've never considered before. beege_man's Magic Only challenge was pretty cool for this. He found a way to get through the ToFR using only magic, which included tracking boss HP to know when to finish them off with XXXX, a spell that usually doesn't see much use.

I did a Guardian Challenge some time ago where I had a WM leading a party of 3 BMs. Rules were in place where only the BMs could target the bosses, and they had to be half the level of the WM or lower. It wasn't terribly difficult, but it was fun playing the game in a completely different way.

Another fun challenge is one that brings the community into the mix. I did a Side Quest challenge, where essentially everything was locked for me, but other posters here could create a side quest for me to do to unlock something. For example, walk three laps around Corneria to show off our walking ability so the shop owner would sell us his walking sticks (Wooden Staff). This challenge was just aching for things I've never done before in the game, like going to random peninsulas or using gear I don't normally equip.

I think challenges should be a fun way to explore other things that the game has to offer, rather than limiting yourself so much that you're just waiting for the RNG to tell you that you can finally let go of the A button.
CranberryPSO 1 month ago#7
I don't like to just dismiss challenges as just being machoistic. It's a way of trying to make the game more interesting or more unique.

It's basically a way of working with a weakness, and how you solve the problem of that weakness.

Personally, I like challenges that encourage you to find creative solutions you might not normally consider. I want to have choices and options to overcome whatever it is I am facing. I'm not really a fan of challenges that simply require you to sit and grind until you are so over-leveled nothing can stop you anyways.

That's one reason in the no start challenge I've been pressing on despite being fairly low leveled. I appreciate the challenge of having to really think things through carefully. Not being able to heal outside of battle leads me to make decisions in-battle related to how quickly I finish something off and how much I try to heal mid-battle. I have to balance how much damage I can take versus how much I can heal and make my resources last.

I personally think challenges that give you options to work with are better than simply taking everything away and having you try to succeed with nothing.

I also kind of subscribe to the idea of "Weaknesses make a character stronger" and I feel a character that has to overcome their shortcomings somehow makes for a better more interesting story than a character that can do everything. I reflect this even in Final Fantasy Dynamics by running a character that has some disadvantages compared to the others.
Best quest to fight tons of Canadians really fast? ~HaienLai
Topics won: 8
(edited 1 month ago)
_Kaz 1 month ago#8
CranberryPSO posted...
It's basically a way of working with a weakness, and how you solve the problem of that weakness.

Personally, I like challenges that encourage you to find creative solutions you might not normally consider. I want to have choices and options to overcome whatever it is I am facing. I'm not really a fan of challenges that simply require you to sit and grind until you are so over-leveled nothing can stop you anyways.
While finding alternative solutions is interesting to me, a lot of my experience tells me once Temple of Fiends happens, a lot of levels or luck is going to be involved.

I did a no-Ribbon run (also known as "my first time playing") and while I could reliably 'reach' Chaos at level 35, I would always be dragging along a few corpses lost to GasD or IceD. The conclusions I had reached were "get lucky and don't encounter them" or "grind another ten levels so you can survive".

There are cases where grinding doesn't help much (a team of mute wizards gains more survivability, but not any significant offense excepting the red wizard) and hopefully it doesn't come down to luck (solo Thief vs Astos is a good example).

Personally I like the potential of fun story elements more than any challenge. The mute wizards, fighters who won't touch any weapons (even keeping them out of their inventory), thieves who want to be clerics (no bladed weapons), escort missions (one character is naked while only drinking cures and the party cannot let them die or run out of drinks), etc.
Fighter: "Mr Pibb", "Dr Pepper".. I'm onto you..
Kaz Fact: Welcome to Version 2.0!
CranberryPSO 1 month ago#9
Yeah, everything you mentioned is a challenge. Basically a challenge is any self-imposed rule or restriction you apply to yourself.

There's really no specific "right" or "wrong" challenge. Its whatever you want to do to get more engagement for yourself from the game, or just to make it more challenging for yourself.

Sometimes no matter how you slice it, parts of this game will come down to luck (unless you are outright RNG manipulating). You could be level 50 and potentially get ambushed by 7 Sorcerers that all decide to attack and 1 shot you. GasDs are notorious for being able to wipe you rather quickly.

I'll soon have to go through the Temple of Fiends myself with no ribbons, or anything else for that matter, and I'm sure I'll have quite a time of it. But patience is also a skill, and sometimes its one that is definitely needed when you hit roadblocks.
Best quest to fight tons of Canadians really fast? ~HaienLai
Topics won: 8
FreshFeeling 1 month ago#10
First post made me wonder:
can the game be beaten if you only enter each town once?

Clearly, no Melmond until after Sea Shrine. No Gaia until after Caravan, and no Onrac until after Gaia, so no Melmond until after all of that. No Crescent Lake until after Lich.
You could effectively traverse Onrac twice, I guess.
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