EBF5: Treasure Randomness

An idea I’ve got for increasing replay value in Epic Battle Fantasy 5 is hiding equipment and maybe some other stuff in semi-random locations.

For example, when approaching a boss that’s weak against fire, you’ll find a treasure chest with a randomized fire weapon inside. You don’t know which player the weapon will be for, so in each playthrough you may need to use a different player as your main attacker for the boss fight. This seems like a good way of making players use weapons they might never otherwise use.

I think in Newgame+ I’ll have to take all of your equips away and reshuffle them to take full advantage of this (though they will keep their levels).

I might do something similar with enemies – where the weaker enemies in battles are swapped with similar enemies on some playthroughs.

39 thoughts on “EBF5: Treasure Randomness

  1. Kalixin

    Well. I think there should be an OPTION to completely randomize everything or take all items away. It would appeal to your entire fanbase. There will be people that want to collect everything like they used to in previous games with 1-2 playthroughs, and then their will be people that want everything randomized and would enjoy a modified adventure each time. If you go all one way or all the other way, half of your fan base will feel the game is grindy, and half of the fan base would think its not different enough.

  2. Treshing

    I have a couple issues with this.
    1) That weapon may be for your main buffing character, or main healing character, which would get pretty irritating as your main damage output for said boss can’t keep dealing damage at all times (I.E: Matt). While this isn’t quite as big as a problem as I’m making it out to be, it’s still annoying to people who play RPGs with predetermined loot.
    2) As with all random chance, there’s always -those- odds. Like where you might end up only getting weapons for a certain character, when you really wanted a weapon for another.
    What I’m thinking is having an NPC who will give you an option of recieving one of a few select weapons that would help for the boss, storing the rest for newgame+ and subsequent playthroughs on that file. Then the idea of randomly spreading all your gear upon starting newgame+ gives incentive to get one of the other weapons: You might not be able to get the weapon the boss is weak to before you get to it.
    Also I do like the idea of spreading player loot upon completion.
    Though I don’t think Matt would appreciate losing all of his swords again. 😡

    1. Drake

      1) While it might be true that some weapons might be kinda unreplacable for different roles I do not have such big trouble with it, since I’m using 4 characters, not 3 only. The advantage of the 4th character:
      – 1 set of gear might allow to exploit additionally the weakness of another type of enemies or resist a particular type of enemies better
      – 1 person in backup slowly refills mana(important for any who want a challenging “no items use” rule)
      – I can use another skill set to utilize group synergies
      I personally don’t like those just “1 role each” playstyle, so I don’t like Matt beeing the ONLY Fighter, Natz beeing the ONLY Healer or Anna the ONLY buffer/Reviver. What I prefer in this case is a stat distribution in 1:1, 3/2 or 2:1 ratios, means: Anna might get 1 type of Phys. Att food while Matt gets 1 or 2 pieces of them. Also I personally think it is sometimes better in longer fights to make a “Temper” on Anna and Anna finishes off enemies. This way both are used offensive but with the advantage of having a buff applied. Or in another example: Sometimes we need the Defence buffs from Anna, so she can’t attack, but luckily we got another good Fighter, Matt, so we lose our full offensive potential. Like you did describe I did play on the 1st playtroughs, my 1st even with just 3 characters but those were the ones I disliked most. Losing my only offense if he/she got to do sth. else, not much variety, not much dynamic but quite much boredom.
      So giving buff food limitation per character level might be a good way to encourage a 4 player playstyle without always having 1 guy neglected or just have to do 1 particular role.

      2) I think the treasure randomness might somewhat work if the gear changing wouldn’t take a full turn without any other usage for the current or next turn(except changing strenghts and exploitable elements). Let’s say: If we swap with the gear from the Heaven’s Gate Sword to Blood Blade then some kind of buffs might be great to utilize the Blood Blade better, like giving temporary some attack boost to make the blood blade stronger for the next moment of usage but becoming weaker if not rebuffing the attack. Or another example: Let’s say we got a Balanced Dress equipped on Natz and want to exchange it for the Pope’s Robe, then sth. like applying “Auto-revive” on herself might be an idea as immediate bonus. So gear changing won’t makes us lose a full turn without any real advantage. If we really would get sth. like I really think the game could work with total treasure randomness and making us happily swapping trough gears like rabbids, even though it might feel some kinda annoying at some point to switch gear like every 2nd turn to make use of gear buffs.

      Overall I can agree with you, but I’d like to recommend you to try another playstyle if you got issues with what you stated in 1). Ofc having 2 decent fighter isn’t such awesome like 1 real strong one, but you won’t have trouble with wasting offensive potential when one of them still keeps it. In addition it opens up much more combos.

      Atm I got a save file where I use offensive buff food in a such distribution
      Phys. Att: Anna 3:2 Matt
      Mag. Att: Lance 3:2 Natz
      And I personally like this one. The 3 piece characters can be buffed by “Charm” or “Temper” so that’s the mainreason why they got a bit more of that type of buff food.
      popular combos are:
      – Offensive combos:
      1. Screamer(Matt), Charm on Lance(Natz), Shockwave/Power Metal(Lance, Power Metal if heal needed): Good against Air, but also overall good with good magic stats when using Vortex Cannon.
      2. Temper on Anna(Matt), Firespin/Debilitate(Lance), Arrow Rain(Anna): Good for physical when Anna has a bow to exploit enemies weak spot or a overall strong bow like the Juggernaut
      3. Arrow Rain with Weaken status(Anna), Screamer(Matt, buffed damage by Weaken), Antimatter/Pulsar(Lance/Natz, also buffed damage by Weaken)
      4. Firespin/Debilitate(Lance/Natz), Arrow Rain with Weaken/Curse(Anna), Wind Slash(Matt) with Dark or Holy damage
      – semi offensive combos:
      1. Charm on Matt/Lance, Screamer/Shockwave/Power Metal(Matt, if build on magic) or Shockwave/Any other elemental skill(Lance) and Reflex/Revive(preemptive also useful)/Arrow Rain(to spread status effect)/Protect(if skilled) by Anna
      2. Charm on Lance, Temper on self and Lance any already mentioned offensive skill
      3. Charm on self, Temper on Anna and Arrow Rain(Multi Target)/Combo Shot or any elemental skill(for Single Target)
      4. Temper on Anna, Arrow Rain(Anna), Barrier/Flare/Guardian/Any heal (Natz/Lance)
      – defensive combos:
      1. standard Protect + Barrier + Reflex
      2. evasive buffs while protecting 1 person intense at first turn, second at 2nd turn: Guardian(Natz), Reflex, Temper or Guardian(Matt), Reflex, Charm(Natz)
      3. Protect/Barrier/Reflex any 2 of them + Kitten Fort against strong 1-hitter(Bosses, Golems) or Slime Bunny for the Regen status
      4. Reflex + Flare + any of Guardian/Revive/Kitten Fort/Coal Bat/Slime Bunny/Protect/Barrier

      What I want to say with that long text. There are so many ways to utilize all 4 characters so that I rarely have trouble losing too much offensive power since I use that 2 fighter, 2 mages stat distribution. Also, everybody has his own skill kit with different exploitable elemental weaknesses. I for example love to use the Juggernaut Bow on Anna since it gives nice stat boosts and has one of the best weapon effects in the game with the most devastating power when also using with Power Blast, if it’s triggering ofc. Similar case for Lance, I love to use Vortex Cannon on him because of his capabilities to be a 2nd healer with Power Metal, even if it only heals half or 2/3 pieces it’s already good enough while he is very good against wind-weak enemies.

      ➡ And in case you also read this Matt. I really like that so many combos are possible, but if buff food won’t get limitations I believe people will continue on playing without backup characters or will just give them neglectable roles. If enemies would be balanced around those limitations by character level it also could be better for NG+ reasons. And ofc, making gear swapping attractive is always appreciated. In those cases I’d also recommend to think about bonuses when swapping gear(like 1 turn defend/regen, minor stat buffs or small amount of HP/MP refilling).

      1. Treshing

        He’s stated that stat items will be character specific in 5
        As in
        Each character has one that buffs attack, mag. attack etc.

        But yeah. I don’t like limiting characters solely to one role either, ironically, I’m just speaking out for the people who do.
        In EBF3, It was very much an archetypal case of “Each character must do this.” Matt had to be the single target huge damage character, Lance had to be the multi-target spread damage character. Natalie was more flexible, as she could be battle orientated or healing orientated, but she basically had to be healing orientated as EBF3 had a tendency to deal absurd damage to you

        EBF4 Was much more flexible. For example, you could make Matt a magic-based character (Which is actually pretty fun, Make lance a support character through buffs and heals, Natalie could focus more on being offensive instead of sitting there healing your party. It was great. Although it did suffer a bit as it was far easier to strip down the characters roles to “Fighter, Healer, Spread-er and Anna” I’m not knocking on Matt at all, it’s still fun to do. But a big problem is that these days people are used to single role characters in RPGs. There aren’t many RPGs where your fighter can also act as a healer (Like you can do in EBF4), or where your buffer/reviver can also hold on their own in a battle. It’s usually the case that each character has one role, and only servers that role.
        The reason I feel that randomizing the equips you find might be very frustrating in this regard is because if you are playing in an archetypal way, as most newer players (or people trying to beat the game quickly) will do, they’re just going to find it frustrating. While you and I might not complain about the boss’s weakness weapon being on your healer, as you can adapt and improve, for some people that wont be possible.
        There was a run of EBF4 I did where Matt was the healer/buffer, Natz was a total offense mage (As I was bored of played her as a healer), and lance was the main physical damage through double shot, unload etc (I rarely use anna, sorry :c)
        And it was fun. But eventually, as I had to give the magic attack boosting items to Natz, Matt wasn’t able to heal efficiently enough (Pretty sure your healing amount is magic attack dependant, either that or I wasn’t paying attention when I levelled the skill), and there’s only so much physical lance can do with his low weapon element values and his most useful skill having a hefty drawback. And since I didn’t use Ana after the first location, I was essentially left with one party member who could fulfill their role. This in turn meant I couldn’t get through normal encounters as easily, restricting my access to weapons for Natz that could help with bosses/tougher encounters, which meant I couldn’t get to loot that could help me for even later battles, meaning I was essentially locked out of the game for playing differently. Although I’ve been much better at balancing these sorts of runs out, it consolidates my point: If you’re playing your characters in a specific way, and one or two small variables (in this example – Not getting the weakness weapon for the correct character) then it can completely ruin a good run.
        For all I know I could have been talking a load of nonsense, and this could make literally no sense, but hey.

        1. Drake

          That’s quite much talk, but I didn’t do different. I get your statings. However, in such games I like to “think outside the box” instead of going “the way to go, which everybody does”, which means here going for particular roles, neglecting others or totally ignoring a backup character. What Matt did state top I did forget for a moment, but I also can hardly imagine how it would look like if everybody has his own type of buff food, will it be all stats for 5 characters? It would need 5 times more item types or each character gets his own inventory for buff food. Chosable level up bonuses or chosable quest rewards for each character might be also interesting, though. But that’s not that important right now.

          I like EBF4 for its flexibility. I also tried several different characterbuilding strategies and such things lets me keep the fun at the game and so I also hope to see beeing EBF5 also beeing such flexible.

  3. ChaosSorceror_Davidicus

    A few days short, but just popping in to say I support this idea. Give me a reason to sell my soul to your games more.

  4. flixwito

    I love all random stuff. But… please don’t take away our weapon 😥 (even though the weapon level will be retained)

    Instead, make it like…
    There are 100 weapon/flair available in total.
    Put 20 on the 1st playthrough, randomly (10 weapons and 10 flair)
    You may find the 20 more on 2nd playthrough
    And so on…
    If you miss some items, it has a chance to be available on next playthourgh.

    Also, it would be a good idea to put weapon/flair on shops randomly.

    This way, people will play NG+ while making them use weapons they might never otherwise use.

  5. ZeroPride

    In case it gets implemented, i think that skill pools should be revisited too, making a character being able to cover any role.It would suck having equipment pointing out that a character should do a certain role, while his skills won-t allow it

    1. ZeroPride

      How about having a p.Att/m.Att/defensive/support version of each weapon, and letting us choose which version to get?

  6. Eskil Nyberg

    I like the idea, but perhaps simply a NewGame+ option to keep equipment levels? Since it takes such a long time to upgrade all your equipment to the max level (assuming there’ll be one) then it could be quite irritating having to reupgrade them after beating the game. By the way, you’re awesome. Your games, along with some games in the Zelda franchise are the best games out there. Keep up the amazing work

  7. Takanuva2244

    Here is an interesting idea: how about not having every foe in one play trough, it could have some random foes appear and some not, so you would need to play game multiple times to get all bestiary data and medals. How about it? :stars:

  8. ZeroPride

    not a great idea , most people don’t tend to change strategies a lot, and equipment randomness will make these people rage imo. Maybe a separate game mode?

  9. Shraderc.inc

    oh matt it would be cool if you had a room in like the starting town where all of the bosses were stored so you could face them again and again for there best loot and for fun with ought having to make a new game (you could lock the room away behind a mountain of in game cash you couldn’t just farm for levels and cake :shades:

  10. Drake

    1) I’m joining Uubong with his opinion, to keep some stat boosts even if it means that single characters end up beeing op. So about this I’d rather suggest to make stat boosting food beeing limited by character level and making this adjustment depended to the individual characters. Just to show what I mean in an example:

    Each level: Can use 1 piece of PAtt boosting food
    Each level: Can use 1 piece of HP boosting food
    Each 2 level: Can use 1 piece of MAtt boosting food
    Each 2 level: Can use 1 piece of MP boosting food
    With this example Matt would always keep his strong physical properties. PDef, MDef, Evade and Accuracy could be treatened similar and a limitation could mean that a character keeps his unique strenght but still allowing some exotic character builds
    Similar examples could be applied on other characters

    2) While I’d also like to see some better NG+ value I don’t recommend to put into a playtrough too much randomness, for reasons which already been mentioned. More than this sth. like “weapon customizing” could be a thing. Sth. like…
    – increasing chance of weapon effect
    – further increasing PAtt or MAtt (fine tuning)
    – opening up new effects on that weapon which wouldn’t be available originally(like adding “Weaken”, adding a Counter Attack or increasing individual skills in their power)
    – an effect which swaps the PAtt and MAtt properties making Physical skills using Magical stats for example
    and probably making those customizations dependend on special material which only can be found in a NG+ and which are limited to 1-3 enhancements per weapon, but which also can be cleaned if wanted. Ofc this is all a thing of how complex it would be in programming.

    3) Another example how Dungeons can be made unique compared to the storyline. At particular waves of a battle some beefed up stronger versions of monsters can be used which summon 1-3 random types of monsters to his aid, when he’s alone. So something weird like a extra strong Big Slime making summon Viking Monoliths could happen for example. The description of the monster might need to be changed whenever a summon type is chosen for those monsters.

    This are just a few ideas which could be considered instead of a too high treasure randomness. I could try find more ways of making NG+ more attractive if appreciated.

  11. Spirare

    Sounds nice IF it’s still possible to get all items in one playthrough in one way or another. If it is, then I have no other complaints.

  12. Dewayne

    This random item in chests thing is most likely just gonna drive people ta quit and reload if they don’t get what they wanted unless it’s set at beginning of game. The random enemies seems alright but this might get a bit convulated. From what I can tell, we’ll be able to get all weapons every playthrough but never in the same order and they keep their levels in new game pluswhen we find them again. There’s a few things to remember when doing this.
    1. Players can still defend themselves adequately even without weapon elemental defense on the harder difficulties. Can always grind I guess but eh.
    2. This is more then likely going to limit how much switching of characters in an out of combat during battles will be useful.
    3. Some equips found in past games made you go “well that would have been a good weapon ta have about 2 hours ago”. This seems like that times 10.
    4. Maybe making the weapons more useful in more situations will make people use more of them. Another encouragement could be to show their unleash abilities when switching gear mid combat because it’s hard to memorize so many of them. Honestly the gear switching should have it’s own entire overlay like it does in menu outside of combat to show total defenses and everything. It would help in cases where your meeting a new wave 7 deep like in Mountain and don’t know exactly what to switch to for every gear but since gear switching doesn’t cost a turn you can change all gear at same time with enemies still showing on right side. I’m rambling sorry.
    5. The main reason why I personally didn’t use many different weapons my first few playthroughs was because I couldn’t upgrade other weapons I prefered to use up to the same level or stats to make them worth using. Or at least I wasn’t willing to go all the way back to town to spend money on materials not knowing how far my money would even go towards upgrading.
    Anyway, I’m liking the randomness idea. I think it and a few other changes could really encourage people to experiment. It was amazing the first time I went into the volcano and actually tried using Nat’s unleash to insta-kill a lot of bullshit baddies in there. Sorry for the crazy long post :tongue:

  13. Uubong

    Maybe I’m in the minority, here, but I really dislike the idea of taking away equips for NG+. A mention from another poster also was the disproportionate growth of enemys scaling to your level but not stat items, but I dislike the idea of changing that as well. To me, a new game+ should be a reward where you can replay the game and keep your stats, being op if you wish to. I would prefer something simpler so people who like op can have stat boosts but an option to toggle them off for people who want to play it without.

  14. Devin de Vries

    I think it could work if you gave some hints in-game as to getting the new weapons. It could become very annoying when
    you found all treasure chest, but haven’t gotten anything because of randomisation or having specific conditions to obtain them.
    It could work, just be carefull on making the process frustratingly abstract.

  15. Kupofan

    I’m not really sure about this. I guess it could be fine if you can buy the weapons you didn’t get in the shop (maybe at high prices so that people hesitate about buying them?). Or maybe in the dungeons you said you might include. But I really want to get all weapons in a single playthrough 🙁 .

  16. Michael H

    Is gold-plating replays really an effective thing to do? According to Steam only ~20% of players finished one playthrough of EBF4, so I wonder if many players will appreciate the effort you’re putting in. On the other hand, I did just finish EBF3 and now am tempted to replay EBF4, I never did finish the monster marathon…

  17. Arcterran

    Well I don’t see why not if this does not apply to the items that you need to progress (this also assumes that this system is even a thing in 5).

    Otherwise, unless you are super confident in your level design skills (Not to mention Constraint Satisfaction problems!) that might cause problems.

    Or I guess have it to where you have specific chests hold the required item. Idunno…that’s where my brain immediately went.

    I wonder if this could extend to quests….random rewards maybe?

    Be an interesting experiment regardless!

  18. RNGesus

    There’s also one thing about Newgame + that is important, and that is correct level scaling.

    In EBF4 there was a big problem where the health and damage of enemies scaled with levels at the same rate of the scaling of the base health/damage of the players.

    The issue is that particular scaling did not take into account the permanent stat boosts, which would be carried over into Newgame+.

    For example, an enemy was balanced at level 30 when Matt gets a 50% boost to attack from ham, but it was not balanced at level 50 when Matt has a 150% attack bonus from ham, his damage was disproportionally higher. As a result the 2nd and 3rd playthroughs are always easier than the first, in the Dark Players fight for example at level 50 their attacks took off like 35% of the characters’ hp, whereas at level 30 they took off almost 60% of the charcters’ hp.

    So I hope that EBF5 takes this into account when scaling monster hp/defences/damage.

    1. Matt Roszak Post author

      Hm, noted. I didn’t spend a lot of time on Newgame+ last time, so no doubt they’re very imbalanced.

      1. Ariel

        for me that’s what made the newgame+ feature enjoyable, because prior to that, there was really no point in redoing it through the newgame feature, other than to get those medals

  19. Shraderc.inc

    i like this idea although i think that redoing the items in new game+ would completely ruin the fung-shue of the team comp that you might have, also i think although it would add some replay ability completionishts like me would find it infuriating not to be able to look at all of your weapons on one menu and to have to do multiple play throughs just to gain some low level item that you need for that sweet 100%

  20. Kilfyre

    :ooo: This is awesome challenge! I think it would be fun to have a random play-through each time, it will be more fun that way! :yay:

  21. Girantina45

    it seems interesting, but with the fact that you have 5 characters (and assuming that you’ll only increase stats via food items) it kind of messes you up if you need to use one character and said character has no stat up items on them. also, im not sure about anyone else, but in EBF4 my main strat was go through battle mountain once on normal mode and then use new game plus to beat it (since i got all the equips on the first playthrough). basically, i think its a unique idea but theres a lot of problems, and its gonna feel less like replayability and more like a very large chore to get all the items again

      1. PantsuWaffle

        Speaking of “left behind”, will all 5 characters get to participate in battle or will the “backup” mechanic be still in effect in EBF5?

        1. Karyete

          I believe this was mentioned somewhere before, correct me if I’m wrong:

          Backup is still a thing, but when using buffs and such, it applies to all characters in backup too.

          1. Drake

            That’s actually a nice thing if all would get the buffs. But maybe we need to make usage of status effects in backup aswell. Not sure if anybody did try it so far, but whenever sb. was doomed and about to die after this turn he won’t die if he’s send to backup. This and maybe other buffs like Regeneration, Poison or Burn might need to take a look at.

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