UltraxBlade's #febuilder-help FAQ

How do I change a character’s portrait? How do I import custom portraits?

In the Character Editor, click on the character’s portrait to open the portrait editor:

You can import a new portrait here by clicking the import button at the bottom. Make sure to adjust the eye and mouth positions appropriately after import.

To select a different portrait in the list to use, you can double-click on an entry in the portraits list after opening the portrait editor from that character’s character editor, or you can set the ID of the portrait to use in the Character Editor (the ID is the position in the portraits list).

How do I set a character’s personal battle animation color palette?

In the Character Editor, click “Jump to Unit Palette” to open the unit palette assignment editor.

On the bottom half of the screen, you put the IDs of the classes to use. In the corresponding slots on the top half of the screen, you put the IDs of the palettes to use. Click the label next to any of the top half’s palette slots to be taken to the actual palette editor, where you can edit the colors of the palette and expand space for new palettes.


3 Likes

How do I change a class’s map sprites?

In the Class Editor, click on the map sprite of the class to get to the standing map sprites editor.

Here, you can import new standing map sprites.

To select a different standing sprite in the list to use, you can double-click on an entry in the standing sprites list after opening the standing sprites editor from that class’s class editor, or you can set the ID of the standing sprite to use in the Class Editor (the ID is the position in the standing sprites list).

Now, we’re not done. There’s also the moving sprite. In the standing sprites editor, click “jump to moving map anims” in the bottom-right:

Much like in the standing sprites editor, you can import new moving sprites here. However, unlike standing sprites, moving sprites are not assigned by ID, and in fact, jumping to this editor may have taken you to the wrong one! Classes use the moving sprite that has the same position in the moving sprites list as the class has in the classes list. If the standing sprite you’re using is shared by multiple classes, jumping to the moving sprites editor from it will just have taken you to the first class that uses that standing sprite, not necessarily the one you came from.

When you import a moving map sprite, you may also need to change the AP, the animation processing data. Most sprites use AP 1-1, but some vanilla sprites, and sprites that are edits of those sprites, use different APs to allow special formatting to break the normal size boundaries (ex. Swordmaster reaching its sword up in the hover anim). If a sprite looks weird in-game, you may have the wrong AP – look in the dropdown for one that matches the class the sprite is based on.

This class is showing the wrong sprite when moving/when hovering over it.

Unlike standing sprites, moving sprites are not assigned by ID, and in fact, jumping to the moving sprites editor may have taken you to the wrong one! Classes use the moving sprite that has the same position in the moving sprites list as the class has in the classes list. If the standing sprite you’re using is shared by multiple classes, jumping to the moving sprites editor from it will just have taken you to the first class that uses that standing sprite, not necessarily the one you came from.

4 Likes

How do weapon rank gains on promotion work?

You may have noticed that, when setting the base weapon ranks of characters and classes, you set them with numbers on a scale from 1 to 255, with 1=E, 31=D, 71=C, 121=B, 181=A, and 251=S. These are actually base values for weapon experience, or WEXP, with those numbers I just listed being the default cutoffs for how much WEXP you need to reach each rank.

WEXP gains on promotion are determined by the difference between your promoted class’s WEXP bases and your unpromoted class’s WEXP bases. If the unpromoted class doesn’t have access to a weapon type the promoted class has, then this just straightforwardly gives you the base value of the promoted class, as the unpromoted class’s base is 0. But for weapon types you already have, it takes the difference in class bases – if you promote from a class with base 31=D swords into a class with base 121=B swords, you gain 90 sword WEXP.

This unit is suddenly skipping to S rank in a weapon type on promotion, and I know I didn’t set the promotion weapon rank gains that high.

This is an issue that can occur when a unit has less WEXP than their unpromoted class base. Since player units can have personal WEXP bases that override class WEXP bases, it is possible for a unit to, say, start with E rank where their class’s base rank is D. If they still have E rank when they go to promote, this causes errors, presumably because it tries to subtract the class base from their current WEXP value and underflows. Make sure your units always have at least as much base WEXP as their class base – or rather, that your class WEXP bases are always lower than the WEXP bases of your units (aside from being nonzero, class WEXP bases only really matter for promotion purposes, after all – generic autoleveled enemies will automatically gain enough WEXP to use the weapons they load in with so long as those weapon types can be used by their class).

6 Likes

My force-deployed units are showing up in the wrong positions.

So, the thing is, forced deployment doesn’t actually check which unit is where in the unit placer. It just checks which are the first X player placement slots, where X is the number of forced units, and then puts the forced units into those first few slots based on their current deployment order in the party.

If you have multiple force-deployed units, and the player could have undeployed some of them in previous maps or recruited them in a variable order, it’s possible for their order to have changed. (Example: units A, B, and C join in that order, but then the player benches B for a chapter while using A and C, so now their deployment order is A, C, B instead of A, B, C.)

There is a solution to this. In the chapter start event, before preps, probably during a fade-to-black so the player doesn’t see, load all the forced units, change their allegiance to red, then change them all back to blue in the order you want them to load.


In this example from my hack, I force the units into the order Elys, Alexander, Ashley, Lily

This will momentarily remove them from the party, and then add them back at the end of the current deployment order in whatever order their allegiance changes back. Forced deployment will then grab them in that order and move them to the top. By doing this, the forced units always end up in the same order relative to each other, so they always end up in the same consistent positions.

10 Likes

How do I add new weapon types?

Short answer: you can’t.

More complicated answer, but one that says “it’s kind of possible”:

The game only has space in its save memory to save weapon experience for 8 weapon types per unit. As such, adding a ninth weapon type with its weapon rank completely independent from the others would take a monumental ASM effort in restructuring the entire save data and modifying everything that checks for your weapon ranks. It might be more doable if you were willing to sacrifice another part of the save data, such as one of the support point slots, but would still take some ASM work to make the “check if you have the required rank” functions account for it. Alternative structures for associating WEXP to weapon ranks have been proposed that would theoretically enable more weapon types so long as no one unit has too many, but at the time of writing this none of those ideas have actually been implemented to my knowledge.

Making a new “weapon type” that doesn’t have ranks is easy, you just treat the item as something like dragonstone or monster weapon and use weapon locks to restrict it to certain units/classes.

But if you truly want to make a new weapon type with WEXP and ranks, you’ll either need to replace one of the existing types entirely, or make it share rank with one of the existing types. There are patches that let you redefine the weapon triangle on a per-type and/or per-item basis, so that’s not a concern.

With regard to replacing, the one big complication is that if you use SkillSys Strength/Magic Split, you’ll need to reconfigure it if you want to replace a magic weapon type with a physical weapon type, which means configuring and running a Custom Build.

Making two types share a rank, for example making daggers a subtype of swords, is probably the method with the least need to mess with ASM and Custom Build stuff, but involves some mildly tedious weapon lock management to restrict classes to one of the other – you’d have to apply a lock on all swords to only be usable by the intended sword-using classes, and likewise for all daggers. See here for a discussion of weapon locks.

6 Likes

Why can’t I target this newly-recruited unit with the Shove skill?

Since the Shove skill is able to shove non-player units, it has a check built-in to prevent shoving stationary units, so you can’t shove bosses off of thrones and the like. This check works based on the AI settings of the targeted unit. However, when a unit is recruited to the player’s army, their AI settings are not automatically cleared in their data, and the Shove skill doesn’t check for allegiance before checking AI. This can result in a recruited unit being unable to be shoved if they have certain AI settings before recruitment. This can be fixed by having their recruitment event also change their AI in addition to changing their allegiance.

In the SkillSys version of Shove, the check is based on AI4 being the “no retreat/boss AI/nullify movement” setting. Since the vanilla change AI event command doesn’t work for AI4, you’ll need to use the commands added by the Set Unit Status patch to change it to 0.

In the standalone non-SkillSys version of Shove, the check is instead based on AI2 being the “do not move” setting. You can use the vanilla change AI event command to set their AI2 setting to 0.

11 Likes

Thanks to FEBuilder creator 7743, the issue with deleting text entries corrupting data has now been addressed if you update to the latest version of FEBuilder.

5 Likes

Dispelling a myth about promoted enemy autoleveling.

You may have heard at some point that promoted enemies use the growths of their base class, or “menu class” in FEBuilder, for the extra autolevels they gain for being promoted. This is blatantly and provably false, both in the vanilla game and with SkillSys, regardless of what anything in FEBuilder says about it.

3 Likes

What is Class Relative Power? Why do Trainees, Thieves, Bishops, Valkyries, Assassins, and Rogues gain more EXP than other units?

Relative Power, or Class Power, is a field you may have seen in the Class Editor. This value affects EXP gain. The short version is that lower Class Power means higher EXP gain, and the baseline most classes use is 3. Classes with Class Power lower than 3 gain more EXP, classes with Class Power higher than 3 gain less EXP. On the flip side, enemies with lower Class Power grant less EXP when killed than other enemies. The Class Power of your base class also matters if you’re promoted.

Now, here’s the detailed version of how it works:

Property Calculation
Experience from doing damage = [31 + (enemy’s Level + 20 if enemy is promoted) – (Level + 20 if promoted)] / Class Power
Experience from doing no damage = 1
Experience from defeating (base) = [(enemy’s Level x enemy’s Class Power) + 20 x enemy’s base class’s Class Power if promoted] – { [(Level x Class Power) + 20 x base class’s Class Power if promoted] / Mode coefficient }
Experience from defeating enemy = [Experience from doing damage + (Experience from defeating (base) + 20 + Boss bonus + Thief bonus, take as 0 if negative)] x Silencer bonus

These are the vanilla FE8 EXP formulas for combat. It’s a lot, so allow me to highlight the main part here:

(enemy’s Level x enemy’s Class Power) + 20 x enemy’s base class’s Class Power if promoted] – [(Level x Class Power) + 20 x base class’s Class Power if promoted]

When you defeat an enemy, the EXP formula compares your levels – you get more EXP if the enemy is above your level, less EXP if it’s below your level. But when comparing levels for this, it multiplies both combatants’ levels by their respective Class Powers.

So, if an unpromoted level 5 unit kills an unpromoted level 7 enemy and both are in classes with Class Power = 3, you gain 7x3-5x3 = 21-15 = 6 additional EXP from this part of the formula, while if you were level 7 and the enemy was level 5, you would gain 5x3-7x3 = 15-21 = 6 less EXP. (I’m assuming Mode Coefficient has been disabled, both for simplicity and because you disabled Mode Coefficient, RIGHT???)

Now, what if your Class Power is less than 3? Let’s say it’s 2. Now, you get 7x3-5x2 = 21-10 = 11 more exp when the enemy is level 7 and you’re level 5, instead of 6. Meanwhile, when the enemy is level 5 and you’re level 7, it’s 5x3-7x2 = 15-14 = 1 additional EXP, instead of 6 less.

Now, when a unit is promoted, there’s an additional complication here. Some sites, such as the Serenes Forest page I initially copied the formulas from, simply list this as a “Class Bonus B”, but it’s actually 20 times the Class Power of what FEBuilder labels as the promoted class’s “menu class”, which is usually its base class, representing 20 levels in that class before promotion. The “menu class” was used to determine promotions in FE6 and FE7, but FE8 instead uses its promotion branches system. However, the “menu class” is still used here in the EXP formula to determine the base class.

In most cases, both the “menu class” and the promoted class will have Class Power 3. However, if the “menu class” has a lower Class Power, the promoted class will gain boosted EXP even if its own Class Power is 3. Consider two level 5 promoted units, both of which have Class Power 3 in their current class, but your unit has a “menu class” with Class Power 2 while the enemy has a “menu class” with Class Power 3. The result becomes (5x3+20x3)-(5x3+20x2) = 75 - 55 = 20 additional EXP gained.

Now, that’s for the base kill EXP. There’s one other place in the formula that Class Power affects, which is the EXP for just dealing damage – which, if you look at the formulas above, is also added to kill EXP. This does not care about your “menu class” Class Power or the enemy’s Class Power, only that of your current class, and it has the effect of dividing the whole value by your Class Power. In the case of both units being of equal level, this becomes the 31/3 = 10 chip EXP you’re used to seeing. But if Class Power were only 1, you’d be getting a full 31 EXP from dealing chip damage. Sound familiar? That’s because FE8’s trainee classes achieve their boosted EXP gain by having class power 1 instead of 3!

Now you know the full details of how Relative Class Power affects EXP gain. Now, here’s the list of player classes this affects in vanilla:

Classes with lower than 3 Class Power

  • Tier 0 Journeyman (1)
  • Tier 0 Recruit (1)
  • Tier 0 Pupil (1)
  • Priest (2)
  • Cleric (2)
  • Troubadour (2)
  • Thief (2)

Promoted Classes with Class Power 3 but a Menu Class with lower than 3 Class Power

  • Bishop (from Priest/Cleric)
  • Valkyrie (from Troubadour)
  • Assassin (from Thief)
  • Rogue (from Thief)

Some of the civilian classes may also have lower Class Power, and I think Entombed actually does as well to slightly counterbalance the massive +50 bonus EXP they give.

You may notice that I’ve said nothing about staff use EXP here, and that’s because staff use EXP is unaffected by Class Power. Priest, Cleric, and Troubadour only have lower Class Power to make them grant less EXP when killed, and to boost the EXP gain of their promotions.

Since “menu class” affects nothing else in FE8, you are free to change the “menu class” of these promoted classes to make their EXP gain and EXP rewards the same as other promoted classes if you so desire.

6 Likes

How do I make a portrait from the Character Creator work in-game?

First of all, if you’re going to use the Character Creator, make sure you’re using version 3, which can be found here. Older versions had so many issues, between the awful colors they output, the lack of color control, and exporting at the wrong size, that it’s not worth the effort to clean up portraits made with them. Character Creator version 3 can be found here:

While working in the CC, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Pick colors from the “FE Palettes” tab, especially for skin tones. These are predefined color sets by an actual community artist. The other methods of generating colors use the old CC’s procedural algorithm, and while you can use your judgment with it for things like armor and hair, it sucks at skin tones.
  • Leave the outline at its default (RGB 56/32/64). This is FE8’s standard outline color, and matches the “black” used for text and text box outlines. It looks much more vibrant than using actual pure black. Colors in the “FE Palettes” tab are designed to work with it.
  • Beware the color limitation, you can have no more than 16 different colors in a GBAFE portrait and that counts the outline and background colors. The CCv3 shows an active count of how many colors you’ve got, but it doesn’t account for the background, so if you’re using its display to track that the number to target is 15 or less.
  • Do not press the “anti-alias” button. The CCv3 programmer’s attempt to anti-alias the hairline algorithmically just results in banding (bad), and it’s much harder to clean up properly if you export with it than if you export without it. Reference how the hair meets the face in vanilla portraits, and ask the #spritans channel in the FEU Discord server for more advice if needed.
  • Export as 96x96. Older versions of the CC exported at double scale, and while that functionality still exists as the regular “export” button, “export as 96x96” was added in v3 to allow for proper pixel-scale export.

Once you’ve finished the base portrait in the CC, you will still need to clean it up and format it for insertion.

How do I format a portrait for insertion?

First of all, make sure the portrait has no more than 16 different colors in it, counting the background and the outline.

The background color can be anything so long as it is not used elsewhere in the portrait, but you’ll notice if you export a vanilla portrait from FEBuilder or if you look at any portrait in the Repo that they mostly all use a standard shade of green.

Now, when inserting the portrait, you can’t just insert the portrait by itself, you need to add blink frames, mouth movement frames, and a minimug. For example, here’s Ephraim’s vanilla portrait:
Ephraim

And here’s a commonly-used template that shows what goes where. (This template also shows the hackbox, an area of the portrait space that gets cut off.)
qcErxRh

The top row of mouth frames is smiling, bottom row is normal, and the one on the far right directly below the eye frames is for the statscreen. The upper eye frame is the halfway-closed “midblink”, the lower one is fully closed. Each frame is 32 pixels wide and 16 pixels tall. They’re overlaid onto the face by shifting in increments of 8 pixels, so make sure you select an area of the face that’s a multiple of 8 pixels from the edges of the portrait.

If you’re splicing, whether by hand or with the Character Creator, you can usually export the vanilla portrait you used the mouth/eyes/face of and copy how the eyes and mouth move there.

The minimug must fit within a 32 pixel by 32 pixel space. Here’s a shortcut method for making it, courtesy of Feier:
image

Once you’ve done all of these things, your portrait is ready for insertion!

4 Likes

Why can’t Dracozombies use Wretched Air after installing SkillSys?

Unlike all other vanilla monster weapons, Wretched Air is, for some reason, set to have a nonzero weapon rank by default. However, units can’t have a weapon rank in monster weapons. Vanilla hardcodes monster weapons to ignore this, but SkillSys removes that hardcoding. Change the weapon rank of the weapon to 0 and it’ll work normally.

7 Likes

Why isn’t this unit showing up on the preps screen?

There are a few reasons this could be happening. The most obvious is that the unit could be dead or removed from the party, but it’s pretty rare for that to happen unintentionally unless you accidentally erased them from the party by loading them as a red or green unit.

Less obvious, but more likely to be the cause: make sure they do not have the “Supply” checkbox set in the Character Editor or Class Editor. This checkbox does not grant supply access — that’s done from the patches list. It’s a leftover from FE7 Merlinus used to make him not appear in the preps screen. A character with this checkbox set will not appear in the preps screen.

4 Likes

What is “Support Class” in the Character Editor?

Short answer: set it to the class the unit starts as for player units and bosses, doesn’t matter for generics.

The actual mechanical effect the “Support Class” field has in-game is mainly just determining what class the character is displayed as in the support viewer menu. It may also be used as a default if you don’t specify a class to load a unit as, but I’m not certain on that, and wouldn’t advise doing so when you can just specify the class in the unit placer.

The real reason you should always make sure to set this for player units and bosses is for your own convenience with setting stats. FEBuilder’s character editor includes the ability to check a character’s average stats at a given level, which can be used to view base stats by checking them at their starting level. A character’s base stats when they’re actually loaded are their personal base stats plus their class base stats. The “Support Class” is what FEBuilder uses to determine which class’s bases to factor into the averages it shows you in this tool.

What is “Menu Class” in the Class Editor?

“Menu Class” is largely a leftover from FE6 and FE7, where it was the field used to determine what a class promotes into. In FE8, this is instead handled in the Promotion Branches editor under Advanced Editors.However, Menu Class does still have an effect on EXP gain for promoted classes, as explained here – in short, don’t leave it undefined for promoted classes, or their EXP gain will get messed up. By convention, it’s usually set to the promoted/unpromoted counterpart of the class.

Menu Class is used by the patch that allows three-way promotion branches as the way the third promotion choice is stored.

Menu Class does not have any effect on the stats of promoted enemy classes.

3 Likes

How do I make it so the chapter does/doesn’t display the chapter map before the starting events?

In the Chapter Editor, there’s a setting for “dark before initial event” that can be set to either “fade to black” or “fade to map”. These settings determine whether your chapter start event begins with the screen faded to black or with the map showing.

When in doubt, you can always start faded to black and then have a fade in from black in the event to show the map once any necessary setup is done. Starting with the map showing is not used as often, since it’s often necessary to at least load some units onto the map before showing it.

3 Likes