[FE8 Hack] (Full Length Hack) The Burdened Crown (v1.2.0 is available now!)

#22

Well it’s been a bit quicker than I thought I would get an update out but considering a certain quote from Benedict Cumberbatch now is relevant for this hack it lets me more time to design the closing of this game’s story. It only adds 2 chapters and some minor balancing but I figured I’d do endgame in one swoop. I’ll also update the OP to include the newest release.
tl;dr: new update, hack is close to finished.
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Changelog

Edit (6/21/2019): A bug where if Jimi dies before turn 3 has been found and patched, probably better to get the quick fix if you have found this issue in the most recent release.
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Changelog

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#23

I am a quick person apparently because I just finished up the hack! No, I am no jesting around, you can play this hack from start to finish and not have to worry about the next release adding more chapters, because they’re all done. I also heard complaints that the hack is too easy, so I added a hard mode patch which gives 5 bonus levels to enemies. There are also 0% growths patches for both modes if that tickles your fancy, but please understand that only normal mode with vanilla growths has been tested, as the other modes were just afterthoughts; I apologize in advance if there are situations where it gets too hard to continue on within the untested modes, but if there are nuances that feel unintended, please let me know!

All of the patches stated above can be found here and will be added to the OP.

Enjoy!

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#24

Wouldn’t it be better to add this to the in game hard mode? Higher level enemies will equal more exp for the player, so it won’t be a straight up difficulty increase.

Either way, congratulations on finishing your hack.

#25

Not quite how it works. Bonus levels calculate extra stat gains for enemies, but don’t actually affect their level (hence the term bonus level).

#26

That’s what I meant. If he already did that, uh… I’m dumb, ignore me.

#27

I was going to say giving enemies 5 extra actual levels in hard mode would be incredibly tedious without ASM but then I realized he worded it as “hard mode patch” so I’m not sure.

#28

Good thing I haven’t left behind this hack quite yet. It turns out that having 5 bonus levels was a bit too much for hard mode because capped SMs by midgame didn’t sound fun at all, so I thank the brave pioneers who decided on HM. Also a few bugs were found so I fixed them too. Here’s the link to the new patch package and, as always, will be added to the OP.

#29

I have completed the game before Hard Mode was more balanced. Although Hard Mode really skewed my perspective I still have quite a few things to say about the other qualities of the hack, let us begin.

  • The mad design. The maps like 3-1, 1-E, the map that you get Kara, actually a majority of the maps in general are just blobs of enemy density. I ended up just throwing my very bulky unit(s) and very dodgy unit(s) in the middle of the map and just have them do everything. It’s just enemy after enemy.
  • I think you fixed the problem with promote units being absurdly strong but they are a huge problem to take down in the late game.
  • Siege Tomes, Staff staves, The maps are designed to the point where there is just a blob of enemies, sometimes rushing after me, sometimes not moving. You are forced to kind of just turtle in extremely compact spaces to just deal with the gigantic density and throwing status staves and siege tomes even worse.
  • Endgame. I’m leaving spoilers out but there is 5 sleep staves, sleep stave reinforcements, and Blizzard that can also sleep you. Unless you use every magic unit in the game, you’re actually fucked. The army just gets overwhelmed by moving sleep stave units with around 26-28 magic, along with Beserk guys on the very top of the map. Also on HM the reinforcements can really just take over.
  • Character Balance, 4 Defense prepromote SM, 'nough said. For real though. Some of the late game units on HM were just absolute garbage. The swordmaster dude in particular is just way too frail to do anything.
  • Class Balance, Javs and Hand Axes don’t exist. You know what this means? Physical units just get completed bodied. Cavs and Paladins lose all 1-2 range which really destroys them in a hack that you want 1-2 range. Mages are ABSURD with the buffs to magic. Sure, they are frail, but most the time they are dodgy enough to the point where you can just overwhelm the enemy with fast, strong mages. For my experience, at least, archers ended up being better than some of the physical units due to how important it was for chip damage and 2 range. Magic just completely stomps the hack. The fact that Horses/Knights get even more destroyed by magic makes it so since magic is the only 1-2 range option you can just play the entire game, by spamming magic units. And this hack gives a great range of magic units. Magic. Is. Everything.
  • Portraits are hard to make, and the effort is indeed noticeable but they are still pretty shaky, along with palettes ranging from solid to not very solid (see: dragon noah). Also minor but the wyvern’s map sprite for all forms is oddly darkly shaded which looks kinda bad.

I didn’t read the story at all because I wanted pure gameplay, not sure what it’s about. This should give a good overview of the flaws of this hack.

3 Likes
#30

I appreciate the feedback, and I do plan on fixing some stuff like maps and unit balance as well as some palettes. Thanks for playing, anyhow.

#31

Good job on reaching this point in your project so quickly, and putting in the work to get there. However, marketing Burdened Crown as ‘Finished’ is misleading and is only going to lead to disappointment when people play it. Finished implies that there is little work left to be done, and if this is true, the game’s quality is lacking for a finished game. You can clear all the maps and complete the story, but I think these elements need a lot more work put in to make them more enjoyable.

The prologue is the first experience the player has when starting the game, so it’s important to make the first chapter interesting and well-designed. I’ll start by saying the first impression the story gives is very plain, as it is an info dump (albeit a short one) that tells the player the protagonist’s identity and what they’re doing. These are things that could very easily be conveyed in the first dialogue scene organically rather than being artificially given to the player. Throng means a group or crowd of people, and doesn’t make a lot of sense the way it is used in this context either. This used to be “captains a vigilante” which was worse, but this still needs to be improved further. “Party”, “group” or “band” are better words that explain the people Gerald leads. The dialogue in the prologue and the rest of the hack can be very stiff, unnecessary or bland.




In these examples, the dialogue doesn’t seem to offer anything besides basic information- there is little characterization or flow (if you read it out loud). The characters sound awkward, and the dialogue being in this state doesn’t help the player become attached to them or invested in what’s going on in the story.

The prologue’s gameplay needs refining, as the way it is designed doesn’t present an interesting or particularly fun experience for the player. You can see from the starting positions that each of the villages at the bottom has a brigand in range that can destroy it on the first enemy phase. It is clearly intended for the player to visit both with the two lowest units. The items you get from these villages aren’t as rewarding due to this because there was no challenge to get them besides clicking “visit”. It doesn’t feel as though it is the player’s choice or ability that lead to the items you gain, though this by itself doesn’t ruin the chapter by any means. After placing those two units on the village, the enemies block them in, meaning for most of the map, half of your units are left tanking enemies on a single tile. This doesn’t lead to particularly fun gameplay, as there is nothing to do besides use the vulneraries they started with and hope they hit the enemies. The enemies at the bottom charge up, and the most efficient way to deal with them is have Stanley engage. Stanley however one-rounds or one-shots all of these enemies, including the boss. To set up kills for Gerald, the player has to rely on Stanley missing. Overall, this doesn’t contribute to the map having a consistent flow or rhythm to it, and I think the prologue could use more work to fix these problems.

The rest of the game has similar issues in quality of content, as many maps make poor use of space. Most maps are made up of boxes with some terrain thrown in the middle and enemies spread in groups. This leads to basic combat that doesn’t have a direction or help stick out in the player’s mind.



Condensing maps and varying layouts and enemies can help make your maps have more of an identity and a flow to them, rather than being open and indistinct. As it is, the hordes of enemies present make solo’ing with Stanley easy, and even encourage it. He can handle the game by himself, and the high amount of statboosters available means you can make him even more optimized to do so.

Overall, Burdened Crown still needs a lot of reworking. The last time I played this was around two months ago, at which point it was incomplete. A lot of the criticisms and points to improve have been stated before by myself and others but seem to be left mostly unaddressed. The short time between then and now makes me think you focused on making a ‘complete hack’ before refining and polishing it. I think now that you’ve reached the end, it’s a good time to look back and increase the quality of the game. Fangames can take years to finish, and there’s always more to be done after. As it is, Burdened Crown is in more of an alpha stage than being finished, and there’s still much to be done.

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#32

By finished I mean that the game can be played through start to finish, I apologize for the misunderstanding. I currently am reworking many aspects to make sure a more polished update will resolve as many issues as possible. I appreciate the feedback, however.

1 Like
#33

Hi, do you have a guide for the hidden/secret items somewhere? I stumbled on an energy ring in a forest in the 2nd chapter but had no idea or clue indicating them. Thanks a bunch.

#34

I finally figured out why promoted enemies are so strong on hard mode, so I went and fixed that issue, and I also did some minor rebalancing. I started to work on supports and brought back 1-2 range for player units. If you are interested in playing the updated version, here is the link, and as always, it will be added to the OP

@Rewind I’ll be vague about where and what they are because right now I am a bit tired but there’s the energy ring in 1-2 by the bottom left corner of the map, a promotion item in the same map but it’s surrounded by the river, a spear for lightweight fliers in the same map but much closer to where you start, a transport staff in 1-5 behind the village where your thief has a easier time recovering, and that’s all for act 1.

#35

Yeah I found them. Thanks, it’s a really fun hack although the endless reinforcements in some maps can be a pain. Which route of the route split is more worthwhile in your opinion lootwise? I’ll be playing through both but I’d still like to get some input on it. I’m really loving the harrier; I’m using 2.

#36

I made supports a thing again and fixed up some things on the side. I feel happy that I finished this hack, and I likely will put it to bed unless some major issue pops up or I feel like changing up a few things. I thank you all for sticking around.
Here’s the link, and as always, it will be added to the OP.

@Rewind I never got asked about the loot so I don’t have a concrete answer. Also I am happy you’re enjoying playing through the hack.

#37

I’m going to try to be polite as possible (though maybe crass in my language) with this post. I have a good few problems with this hack, even though I’ve only really started it. This is just to lay out early issues I can see to iron out the game. I will be using Chapter 1-2 as reference for some issues, and pointing out some problems with the chapter specifically.

For reference, the unit design seems to be geared towards this idea of balance. Take Gary for example.


Gary is a cav with pretty decent bases, even really good bases (save for his HP, maybe.) And then you get to his growths.

Now, these look genuinely bad. I will say you at least made a high bases, low growths character (which is by far better in my opinion, though that should likely be taken for a grain of salt.) But the problem with this is that he was likely not intended to be a low growths character. A lot of people look at Micaiah’s magic and resistance and say “that’s overpowered.” The thing is, growths at 45% are incredibly unreliable. You’ve given him growths that, at the most, procc less than half the time. When you have a unit that has high growths, they’re not overpowered if you can plan around the player getting consistent stats on level ups.
Take, for example, Roiel, from the hack “Souls of the Forest” (By Scraiza)

These growths may look ridiculous, but because they’re so high, you can easily plan around the player getting better level ups, making scaling of the enemy much easier (and honestly, more fair)
Speaking of Micaiah.

Why.
Tatyana_Why
Another aspect is how the units are balanced around eacother. Take Andrew and Stanley, for example.
This is our boy Andrew.


And here’s our friend Stanley.


Have you noticed a problem? Stanley just completely outclasses Andrew. He has much higher move (a huge stat to have both offensively and defensively), much higher bases, and even generally better growths, missing out on 5% speed and 10% luck. Now, the luck may be a bit of a problem if it’s a 10% lead on Andrew’s part.
If it weren’t for the issue that luck as a stat is pathetic, barely giving any crit and giving like 1 critical avoid per 4 points. There’s no real reason to use Andrew- even the 5% speed is useless when you consider on average that lines up to a 1-2 point difference in speed and at base Stanley has 4 speed on Andrew.
Fucking

Why

Though?

Making physical 1-2 range terrible with low hit rates and then making magic better because of ok hit rates followed by higher might is detrimental to the game’s design. When you make 1-2 range have low hit, you don’t make the game harder. You make it more tedious.
Moving on to map design, I’ll take into consideration 1-2.

This forest in the middle is detrimental to the map design. It’ll only make it take longer to get units to where you need them to be, and poor Andrew is shafted (again) because a knight having to traverse the forest is just a death sentence.
Focusing on the Pegasus, Tatyana, you can see that she’s unable to reach the thief turn one, and if she even tried, she’d be shot down. This is actually a very terrible way to set up a unit, because of a thing players have called the negativity bias.
If I get a unit, and they can’t perform well on their join map, I’m much more likely to drop them instead of using them when they very well may be excellent. Making Tatyana’s strengths impossible to use in this situation only makes it harder to justify using her. I would have the thief be closer, and the archer maybe take a turn to get close, being just out of reach, showing that Tatyana could be used for, say, a quick fly by attack. The problem is that even with her speed, she can’t actually kill the thief,

  1. Because she has a slim lance (WHYYYYYYYYYYYY)
  2. Because the thief’s stats look like this.

    For reference, base Gary looks like this.

    Meaning that unless you get a speed level (which you could very well miss due to the unreliability of a 45%) he actually gets doubled at base, and that 7 defense actually gets nullified by the weapon the thief has, making it a nasty encounter. Or it would be, were it not for the weapon being a meme.

    Three effective might against armors. Three.
    Getting back the thief himself, he can actually roll low on his stats, and have 11 speed, as is pictured here.

    This means that a viable solution to the problem is legitimately just resetting until the lad can’t double Gary anymore (unless he rolls 13 speed), since Stanley is currently hampered by the big block of forests in the way. RNG abuse to victory should not be your solution to the problem.
    1-2_thief_my_life_is_suffering
    And this is another problem. Tatyana, being problably the first to reach the thief, has 105 hit with a slim lance. This thief gives her a 61% hit chance (63% with that 11 speed), meaning the talisman could be gone very easily with some poor luck. I would recommend making the thief weaker, and giving him a vulnerary rather than a talisman. This means that you can still teach the fly by method I spoke of earlier, and not reward the player in a way you would feel to be too much.
    Oh yeah, speaking of avoid.
    image
    Only villains do this.

That’s all I can really think of at the moment, I hope you found this constructive.

#38

I appreciated the criticism, and quite frankly I needed it to be a bit rough. While I currently am not working on polish right now, I will keep it in mind when I decide to tighty up the hack. I hope you enjoy/tolerate the hack.

1 Like
#40

idk if troll or not because of the spelling. But he has pointed out in a nice way things wrong and how to make them better and how to be a better game designer. I never played the hack read through the whole thing and agreed with him on how to handle the situations better and make it nice for the player.

Also if you don’t have anything nice or constructive criticism then don’t bother posting. You don’t help anyone out in this scenario and just make the scenario worse.

1 Like
#41

Yeah that’s a friend don’t worry about it.

#42

I feel the complaints against the unit growths is really unfair considering that in relation to vanilla GBA they’re actually pretty good. It’s unfair to compare them to SotF since enemies in that hack also have super high growths. By GBA standards 45% growth and 8 base for strength is actually really good.

Low growths aren’t a problem if enemy growths are low too. FE5 and Berwick Saga have deflated stats across the board there and it works fine. Inflated stats just makes missing out on a few stats more punishing than in a game where player and enemy growths are low.

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