Halving the player’s HP

Recently I’ve been playing Final Fantasy Tactics Advance A2, and I’ve been appreciating their relatively low numbers. The highest HP I’ve seen in the game is around 700 total.

So, for FCA, I’ve reduced all of the playable character’s max HP by half.

It’s much too early to balance the game, but the original values were clearly off. End-game bosses needed to take three turns to kill a completely unequipped player character. That’s far too much.

Examining damage to HP ratio

The formula for most damage in the game is:

Math.power(a.atk, 1.5)

Or, in English:

The battler’s attack stat to the power of 1.5

That means, even at the soft cap of 99 ATK, an enemy’s skill would deal 985 damage against an unarmoured target.

In the early days of development, the highest HP class in the game had 5300 HP. That’s now down to 1300, and the lowest HP class now has 540. Now we’re looking at the possibility of characters being tanks or glass cannons.

Creating more varied gameplay

Lowering HP should have the effect of increasing the value of armour, which is good. I don’t want players to have to grind too much for anything in particular. So I’ll split the burden of empowerment between gaining levels and gaining gold to buy equipment. It’s not much, but it’s a start to increasing diversity of the standard gameplay loop.